The much-awaited Ashes 2021-22 is all set to start tomorrow in Australia. England and Australia are set to take on each other in the first match of the series at The Gabba in Brisbane. Previously, 71 editions have been held so far as Ashes rivalry is concerned. Australia has managed to win 33 editions, while England has won on 32 occasions. The last Ashes 2021-22 series was played in England, which resulted in a 2-2 draw.
Australia has already named their Playing XI ahead of the first Test. Pat Cummins has been appointed as Australia’s new Test skipper, while Steve Smith will assume the vice-captaincy duties. David Warner is set to open the innings alongside Marcus Harris. Warner has only played two Tests in the last 23 months.
However, he is coming into the tournament on the back of exceptional performances in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. There would be no shortage of confidence and one could expect him to play well in the series. In the middle-order, the biggest bets would be Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. The duo wreaked havoc in the last Ashes series and the fans would expect similar performances in this series as well. The duo will be followed by the likes of Travis Head, Alex Carey and Cameron Green. For the last few days, there have been debates over whether to go Mitchell Starc or replace him with Jhye Richardson. However, the Australian side has put faith in Starc’s abilities and have included him in the playing XI. He will share the fast bowling duties alongside Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. Australia’s premier spinner, Nathan Lyon should complete the playing XI.
On the other hand, England, too, has named a 12-man squad ahead of the first Test. The likes of Haseeb Hameed, Rory Burns and David Malan, once again, form the top-order. The trio showed resistance in the Test series against India and would be hopeful of making an impact in the Ashes series as well. The most important player in the squad will be the skipper Joe Root. He is currently in the form of his life. If England fancies their chances in the series, Root has to perform exceedingly well with the bat. In a big boost for them, Ben Stokes returns to the Test side after taking a break from all forms of the game, citing mental health concerns.
Sadly, James Anderson won’t be part of England’s team in the first Test. The management has decided to give him rest in a bid to make him fully fit for the pink-ball Test in Adelaide. Stuart Broad is likely to lead the pace attack, which also consists of Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood. Jack Leach has also been included in the 12-man squad but is unlikely to be part of the playing XI.
Ashes 2021-22 Squads
Australia XI: Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
England’s 12-man squad: Joe Root (c), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.