Ashes 2019, 1st Test: Preview, Dream11 and pitch report
England and Australia are set to lock horns in the first Test match of the Ashes 2019, starting August 1 at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Both sides will be aiming to start well in this epic five-match Test series. Australia go into the Ashes as the defenders, whereas, England will be wanting to extract the home advantage once again. Here is the match preview.
Bowling will dictate the show in Ashes 2019
It's going to be a close contest this term. Both sides have world class bowling attacks. The Dukes ball and the conditions will test batsmen of both teams. The moving ball, quality pace and aggression will hold utmost significance. We might not witness any drawn Test matches. The performance of veterans James Anderson and Mitchell Starc can tilt the outcome.
Batsmen need to take responsibility
It will be important for the key batters to step up and take responsibility. The team which can gain an edge with one or two big guns contributing with the bat will win the Test series. That's where someone like Steve Smith and Joe Root will come into play. Both are world-class batsmen and the pillars of their respective teams.
A look at the key bowling options for both sides
Australia will rely on three premier pacers in the form Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. They picked up 66 scalps between them in 2017-18 series. All-rounder Mitchell Marsh can be the fourth pace-bowling option. For England, all eyes will be on Jofra Archer. James Anderson and Stuart Broad add experience. Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes are in there as well.
Dream11: Smith leads the powerful unit
We go with Jason Roy and Usman Khawaja as the openers of this Dream11 team. Roy gives that aggressive edge, whereas, Khawaja can grind it out. Root comes in next. Smith gets the captaincy nod. Jos Buttler is the wicket-keeper batsman. Moeen Ali and Marsh are the two all-rounders. The four-man pace attack sees Starc, Cummins, Woakes (vice-captain) and Archer in the mix.
Ashes part of the ICC World Test Championship
The Ashes kicks off the new ICC World Test Championship. The top nine Test teams will battle it out. A total of 72 matches are set to be played between August 2019 and June 2021. Each country will play six series in the two-year period with 120 points on offer per series. The top two teams will play the final in June 2021.
Pitch report, TV listing and timing
The pitch at Edgbaston is set to offer a rock-hard surface. Also, it will be quite dry underneath. Bowlers will get help, whereas, batsmen need to be patient here. The match is scheduled for a 3:30 PM IST start. One can watch the match live on the Sony Ten Network and stream the same on Sony LIV app.