New Australian Test skipper Pat Cummins has named the side to face England at the Gabba from Wednesday 8 December 2021.
Alex Carey’s inclusion as the team’s wicket-keeper during the week highlights the changes to the lineup, while Australia have also named Travis Head and Mitchell Starc in the side.
Cummins ended the speculation of potential re-inclusions of Usman Khawaja and Jhye Richardson in a press conference three days out from the series opener.
Chris Silverwood weighing up England batting options ahead of Ashes opener
Head averages 39.75 in Test cricket, and played in four matches of the 2019 Ashes serieswhile also making a strong start to his domestic first-class season with South Australia.
“It was a tight one. Both really good options, (with) really strong form,” said Cummins.
“The experience from Uzzie is great and we are really lucky to have that but Trav has been playing a lot of us in the last couple of years and has churned out runs.”
On the English side, Joe Root says his side is not yet finalised, preferring to wait until the toss on Wednesday.
“We’ve got all the options on the table (but) we’re not going to name a team just yet,” Root said.
“We’ll have to see the weather forecast and how that pitch changes over the next couple of days.”
England have several selection posers especially in their middle-order where Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope are vying for a berth.
Root also kept the door open for Jack Leach’s selection, with the left-arm orthodox spinner looking to wriggle into the side.
“But it’s a great place to play spin. It’s something we’ll weigh up and consider, but we’re not in a position to make that call right now.”
Australian XI for the first Test: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc.
England squad: Joe Root (Captain), Ben Stokes, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Australia Squad: Pat Cummins, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
Ashes 2021/22 Schedule: Full list of fixtures
December 8-12, First Test – Gabba, Brisbane, 10am local/12am GMT
December 16-20, Second Test (Day/Night) – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 2.30pm local/4am GMT
December 26-30, Third Test – MCG, Melbourne, 10.30am local/11.30pm GMT
January 5-9, Fourth Test – SCG, Sydney, 10.30am local/11.30pm GMT
January 14-18, Fifth Test – Optus Stadium, Perth, 10.30am local/2.30am GMTInternet Explorer Channel Network