Both of England’s veteran pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad will feature in the Edgbaston Test. The former recently skipped the Lord’s Test against Ireland to keep in shape for the Ashes. Broad, on the other hand, picked up a five-wicket haul against Ireland in the first innings.
On expected lines, there is not much change in the batting line up for the first Ashes Test. Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley will remain the openers. Ollie Pope, who smashed 205 off 208 balls against Ireland, should bat at No.3, followed by former captain Joe Root at No.4.
Harry Brook and Jonathan Bairstow also retain their places in the Ben Stokes-led squad. However, the bowling department wears quite a different look compared to the one-off Ireland Test. Instead of Matthew Potts, Josh Tongue and the injured Leach, England have picked Moeen, Ollie Robinson and Anderson
England’s playing XI for 1st Ashes 2023 Test at Edgbaston
Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Jonathan Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson
Speaking ahead of the Ashes, England captain Stokes admitted that World Test Champions Australia will pose a threat to them, but added that England have ‘found something that works’, asserting that they will not back down from their high-risk, high-reward ‘Bazball’ approach.
Under the Stokes and Brendon McCullum captain-coach combine, England have won 11 of their last 13 Tests. However, some critics are skeptical of whether the ultra-aggressive approach will work against world champions Australia.
Stokes told BBC Test Match Special, “We know the threat that Australia pose, no matter who they are playing against, they are a very good team, but we’ve found something that works and has been successful. That doesn’t change with the opposition.”
Australia recently beat India by 209 runs in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final at The Oval, sending a clear warning signal to England ahead of Ashes 2023.
--By A Cricket Analyst