ECB has named a 12 man strong squad for the opening test against Australia at the Gabba Brisbane starting from December 8th, 2021.
Earlier the board has announced that James Anderson will miss the opening Test of the Ashes 2021-2022 series as the board is looking ahead to manage the workload of the ace pacer. ECB is planning to prepare him for the pink ball test in Adelaide that begins just four days after the end of the opening test. Thus Chris Woakes has been selected in place of Anderson in the selected 12 man squad. Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, and Mark Wood are the other pace bowling options with Jack Leach to lead their spin attack.
Earlier the rumors of James missing the first test due to a calf injury did rounds on social media however ECB confirmed in its statement that Anderson is fit to play & he is not carrying any injury. The board further emphasized that he has been rested in the first test to get him ready for the second Test in Adelaide. James Anderson was all set to become the third cricketer from a touring team to play five tests at the Gabba after Courtney Walsh and Daniel Vettori if he would have not missed the first test at the Gabba.
On the other hand, Joe Root has been named as the Captain of the 12 man squad. He will lead the batting unit that will miss the services of Haseeb Hameed, Rory Burns, Ollie Pope, and Dawid Malan. Jos Buttler will do wicket-keeping as wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow has been excluded from the first test squad. Meanwhile, Ben Stokes who took an indefinite break from cricket to take care of his “mental well-being” will make a comeback to the set-up.
England last won a Test at the Gabba back in November 1986 when they beat Australia by seven wickets on the back of Sir Ian Botham’s game-changing 138.
England Squad for first Ashes 2021-22 Test:
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.
Ashes 2021-22 Schedule
First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba
Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG
Fifth Test: January 14-18, TBC