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England take on Australia in the first test of the Ashes on the eighth of December at the Gabba, as they are looking to win the Ashes in Australia for the first time since 2011.

England’s preparation has been interrupted recently with warm up games called off due to adverse weather conditions in Brisbane where they are staying.

However, Australia have had an awful build up to the series since they won the T20 World Cup in October. Captain Tim Paine resigned and took a break from cricket following the release of inappropriate messages he sent in 2018 to a female employee of Tasmania Cricket, despite being married with two children. Cricket Australia decided to not take action over the messages in 2018 but the recent leak of these messages led to Paine’s resignation.

Pat Cummins will now captain the baggy greens in the series with Steve Smith now vice captain.

Australia have named their squad for the first test; David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

Alex Carey will keep wicket in place of Tim Paine.

England will be without star bowler James Anderson who has now been ruled out of the first test with injury.

England’s 12 man squad for the first test is; Haseeb Hameed, Rory Burns, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (C), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, Jack Leach.

Ben Stokes return to cricket following a break through injury and to prioritise his mental health will be a huge boost for his side and England will be hoping Hameed can perform well on his first Ashes tour.

Prediction for the series: England to win two wins to one.

Top run scorer: Ben Stokes. Highest wicket taker: Josh Hazlewood. Player of the series: Ben Stokes.

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June 2024