England announce 12-member squad for first Ashes Test
England have announced a 12-member squad for the first Ashes Test against Australia at the Gabba, starting tomorrow. The Three Lions have left out Jonny Bairstow, with Ollie Pope preferred. As reported earlier, veteran fast bowler James Anderson has been rested for the encounter in Brisbane. Meanwhile, England have included Ben Stokes, who hasn't played meaningful cricket since July.
Here's the 12-member squad of England
England's squad includes Joe Root (c), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Veteran pacer Anderson misses out
Earlier, the ECB had issued a statement and said Anderson will miss the first Ashes Test against Australia. The 39-year-old Anderson's workload is being managed by the visitors. England are planning to introduce Anderson for the Day-Night Test which begins four days later after the first encounter. Anderson isn't carrying an injury but the plan is to get him ready for the second Test.
Cummins has his say on Anderson
Australia skipper Pat Cummins told BBC that it is a shame that Anderson won't be playing the first Test. "He's obviously a great player and it's a shame that he won't be out there tomorrow, but it doesn't change what we are going to do," he said. "I look around our team and we've got a pretty special side," he added.
A look at Anderson's Ashes stats
Anderson has racked up 60 wickets at an average of 35.43 in Australia. The star player played a key role in England's last series win in Australia in 2010-11 when he took 24 wickets at 26.04. He was the leading bowler for England in the 2017-18 Ashes series in Australia, picking up 17 wickets at 27.82. In 32 Ashes Tests, Anderson has 104 wickets.
Pope preferred over the experienced Bairstow
Having featured in 20 Tests so far, Ollie Pope has amassed 965 runs at 32.16. Pope, who is set to make his Ashes debut, got a sturdy 81 against India earlier at The Oval in September. He is seen as a huge potential by the England management. Meanwhile, Bairstow misses out after an indifferent form since his Test recall earlier this year.
Australia have announced their team
Australia have a star-studded XI which they announced on Sunday. Pace spearhead Pat Cummins is set to lead the Aussies in place of Tim Paine, who is on an indefinite break. Meanwhile, Steven Smith will be Cummins' deputy. Playing XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood