Ahead of the first match of The Ashes 2019 in Birmingham, England announced their playing XI that would take part at Edgbaston. Interestingly, Jofra Archer, who has impressed in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, was left out of the eleven.
With five Tests matches to be played in a span of six weeks, and limited overs to go after that, England have opted for caution in how they handle Archer.
“Jofra is coming back from quite a serious injury and we looked at the conditions, about a team that can take 20 wickets here, and it allows him time to get absolutely fit,” England captain Joe Root said at Edgbaston.
Since making his senior debut in 2016, Archer has played 28 First-class matches taking 131 wickets at 23.44 and it should be difficult to keep the Jamican talent out of the eleven for long.
While announcing the team, England also revealed that Joe Root will bat at No. 3 instead of No.4 and Joe Denly will slip to his position.
“He rang me the other day and told me he wanted to bat three and for me to go in at four,” said Denly.
“I think Rooty just wanted to get involved in the game, get up there and get out in the middle.”
Australia won The Ashes 4-0 last time down under in 2017-18, but England have not lost an Ashes series on home soil since 2001.
“I’m very excited. I wasn’t too fussed where I’d be batting, it’s just great to be in the XI,” added Denly. “I’ve batted at four before for Kent and throughout my career, so it really wasn’t a big issue.”
The Ashes 2019 marks the beginning of the ICC World Test Championship 2019-21 cycle.
England playing XI for the first Ashes Test:
Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (capt.), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson