Internet Desk: England and Wales Cricket Board on Wednesday announced the team for the first Test at Gabba which starts from Thursday.
The squad includes 26-year old Nottinghamshire seamer Jake Ball. The seam bowler has recovered in time for the first test match after an ankle injury sidelined him in the final warm up match in Townswill. Ball will join pacers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes to form the pace quartet.
Speaking on Ball’s selection, Root said, “It wasn’t an easy decision. Craig has come into the squad and everything asked of him he’s done really well.” The 26-year old further showed faith that the pacer will go on to challenge Australia’s strong batting line-up. “Jake has bowled well when he’s had his opportunity on the tour and the way he goes about things on these surfaces could be really challenging for the Australians,” he said.
The hosts have included David Warner in the side for the Brisbane test match. The left-arm batsman suffered a neck sprain during a fielding session at Gabba on Tuesday, but was later fit enough to come for the training session in the nets.
In another injury scare for the home side, returning batsman Shaun Marsh has reported back soreness after a training session. The left-hand batsman will continue to receive treatment overnight, a day before the match. All-rounder Glenn Maxwell was called on by selectors to Brisbane as a batting cover, who may replace Marsh, in case he is unfit to play on Thursday.
Meanwhile, in a war of words Australian Captain Steve Smith has threatened the England batsman saying his fast bowlers will be “scary” and “nasty”.
“It’s been exciting watching them (Starc and Cummins) bowl in the nets, I think back to 2013 when Mitchell (Johnson) was bowling in the nets, these guys are just as nasty, if not more nasty to be honest,” Smith told reporters on Wednesday.
“A couple of net sessions I have had against Cummins and Starc have been quite scary, so that is really exciting for us.”
Smith, who has the task of rotating his front-line bowlers to keep them fresh, says Starc, Cummins and Josh Hazlewood have been building up to the Gabba opener for some time and are raring to go.
“The bowlers have certainly been looking forward to this series,” Smith said.
England squad: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.
Australia squad: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (capt), Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon.