Australia team for Ashes 2019: The Sportsrush present before you Australia’s Probable XI for the first 2019 Ashes Test vs England.
England and Australia will take on each other in another intriguing bout of Test cricket as 2019 Ashes will begin in less than 24 hours from now. Declared as the biggest Test series in cricket by England all-rounder Ben Stokes, the five-match series is likely to witness some groundbreaking cricket.
Australia, who haven’t won an away Ashes series since 2001, will be aware of the same and would be looking to end their drought away from home. The presence of senior batsmen in David Warner and Steve Smith back into the lineup is likely to come good for the visitors.
Other than these two batsman, Australia’s XI is all set to witness some other changes as well. Speaking during the pre-series press conference, Australia captain Tim Paine announced that they will announce the Playing XI at the toss tomorrow.
Australia team for Ashes 2019
Australia head coach Justin Langer had confirmed yesterday that top-order batsmen in Warner and Usman Khawaja are both fully fit and will take the field in the first 2019 Ashes Test at Edgbaston. Langer’s announcement leaves Australia with a decision to pick one out of Cameron Bancroft or Marcus Harris as Warner’s opening partner.
In the ongoing season of the Championship Division Two, Bancroft has scored 726 runs in nine matches at an average of 45.37 and a strike rate of 45.17 including two centuries and three half-centuries. The 26-year old cricketer scored a match-winning 93* (194) in Australia’s intra-squad practice match last week.
On the contrary, Harris was Australia’s highest run-scorer in their Test series against India earlier this year. In four Tests, Harris had scored 258 runs at an average of 36.85 and a strike rate of 51.91 including two half-centuries. Playing for Australia A, the southpaw had scored 109 (159) against Sussex earlier this month.
While Bancroft averages 30.92 in eight Tests, Harris averages 32.7 in six Tests. Both the batsmen have been among the runs in the recent times and the decision has it in it to be a really tough one for the Australian team management.
Smith and Travis Head are almost to likely to form the crux of Australia’s middle-order in Birmingham tomorrow. With Paine at No. 7, Australia will have to make another decision with respect to their No. 6 batsman. If Australia aim to play an all-rounder, they might pick one out of Mitchell Marsh or Marnus Labuchagne.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) July 31, 2019
However, given the form Matthew Wade is in, there won’t be much of a surprise element if he gets the nod as a specialist batsman. Having last played in Tests for Australia in September 2017, Wade has presented a strong case for his selection after almost a couple of years.
In the aforementioned interview, Langer also confirmed that James Pattinson will take the field for Australia in Tests after almost three and a half years. With co-vice-captain Pat Cummins and veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon set to play, Paine will have to pick one out of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood or Peter Siddle.
Starc, who was being questioned for lack of wickets during the home series against India last season, turned thing around in the same series as well in against Sri Lanka in the following month. In the last 12 months, Starc has dismissed 29 batsmen in eight Tests at an average of 28.37, an economy rate of 3.19 and a strike rate of 53.3.
Hazlewood, whose last Test was the New Year’s Test against India this year, hasn’t played much First-class cricket of late. In the last one year, Hazlewood has picked 13 wickets in four Tests at an average of 30.61, an economy rate of 2.61 and a strike rate of 70.2.
The third candidate in Siddle hasn’t played a Test since October 2018. Playing for Essex in the ongoing Division One County Championship, Siddle has sent back 34 batsmen in eight Tests at an average of 20.08, an economy rate of 2.59 and a strike rate of 46.5.
Given the reports regarding Starc certain to miss out on selection in the first Test, one feels Siddle might just be a better option alongside the likes of Cummins and Pattinson. Much like Bancroft, Siddle’s recent form in England might come in handy for him.
Australia Ashes 2019 Squad (Predicted XI for first Test) – 1) David Warner 2) Cameron Bancroft 3) Usman Khawaja 4) Steve Smith 5) Travis Head 6) Matthew Wade 7) Tim Paine (c & wk) 8) Pat Cummins 9) James Pattinson 10) Nathan Lyon 11) Peter Siddle