The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced their Ashes Test squad on 10 October 2021 after finally confirming that the tour would go ahead, and six weeks later, Australia have finally announced who they will send out to the pitch.
Before the confirmation that the Ashes Series 2021/2022 would go ahead, Former Australian Test captain Tim Paine told SEN Sports Radio: “Well the Ashes are going ahead - the first Test is on December 8 whether Joe’s here or not. They all want to come, there’s no doubt about it.”
Tim Paine has since been involved in a text exchange scandal and, although had been exonerated at the time, took the decision to both step down as Test Captain and as a player for the time being.
Speaking to reporters in Hobart, the wicket-keeper said “It’s an incredibly difficult decision but the right one for me, my family and cricket.
“As background on my decision, nearly four years ago I was involved in a text exchange with a then colleague.
“Although exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident at the time and still do today.”
Australia will hope to keep the Ashes after they retained the urn in 2019 after a 2-2 series draw. England have not won an Ashes series in Australia since 1987.
Not only will Australia come into this series as the current holders of the urn, but they are now also the Twenty20 World Cup Champions 2021.
Australia beat New Zealand on Sunday 14 November 2021 to become first time T20 World Champions with David Warner winning himself the Player of the Tournament award. Warner shared a 92 run partnership off 59 balls with Mitchell Marsh helping the Australians to beat New Zealand by eight wickets.
While T20 and Test cricket involve extremely different skill sets, there is no doubt that Australia will come into the Ashes with a reignited winning passion and mentality. Warner’s form throughout the tournament will boost the batsman and team’s confidence heading into the five match series against England which starts in December. The 35 year-old batter scored a total of 92 runs against England during the 2019 series, but his 289 runs he made during the 2021 T20 World Cup tournament will reaffirm Australia’s faith that their opening batsman can support them in the bid to keep the Ashes.
Here is the squad for Australia’s upcoming Ashes series against England.
Who will captain Australia?
After Paine stepped down from his role, fast bowler Pat Cummins has been appointed as the new Australian test Captain.
The former vice-captain will also headline the bowling unit for Australia and currently has 52 wickets against England in a two year span. Additionally, in the two tests he has played for Australia against India, he took 11 wickets. Cummins pace and skill will be key to Australia’s success.
Who are the batters for the Australian Ashes squad?
Despite a particularly unsuccessful series against England in 2019, opening batter David Warner is among those selected. Warner’s experience will be invaluable although he will be particularly hopeful that Stuart Broad’s injury prevents the Englishman from bowling too much after the Nottinghamshire bowler took Warner’s wicket seven times in the last Ashes series.
Warner will open the batting with Marcus Harris. Australia, like England, have struggled to find a successful and settled opening partnership but the Aussies will be hoping the 29-year-old can match his domestic form on the international forum.
Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne will also be present for the upcoming Ashes Series.
Smith has only played in two matches in 2021 but already has 303 runs to his name. Australia will hope that his 2019 success will return and continue to frustrate England once again.
Labuschagne shot to fame in the 2019 Ashes series after he came on as a concussion substitute for Smith. In the four matches he played, the 27-year-old totalled 353 runs. Both Labuschagne and Smith made an almost unbeatable partnership which undoubtedly cost England the Ashes.
Travis Head and Usman Khawaja will be the batters to fight out for the final batting spots. Khawaja has recently been recalled having not played Test Cricket since the last Ashes series in England in 2019.
Who will keep wicket for Australia?
Tim Paine had been the most likely wicket-keeper however a confirmation is still required to decide who will take his place with the gloves.
ODI vice-captain Alex Carey will also hope to score a spot in the Test squad. He is yet to make his Test debut for Australia after the tour against South Africa was cancelled but has an impressive ODI batting average against England of 44.71.
Matthew Wade will also stake a claim and will be sorry not to have made it in the initial squad.
Who are the Australian all-rounders?
Cameron Green was chosen for the South Africa tour that was subsequently cancelled and has now made it on to the 15-man Ashes squad.
Green did not take any wickets in his debut tour against India, he did make 236 runs with a highest score of 84.
Who are the Australian bowlers?
Along with Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will make up the rest of the pace bowling attack.
All three have a lot of experience against England and all contributed to the 2019 Ashes squad.
Hazlewood will be the favourite of the three. He has a 24.43 average against England and already has 10 wickets to his name this year in just two tests.
Starc has 55 wickets against England but has had a slower start to his 2021, only taking two wickets with an average of 96.66.
Nathon Lyon will be Australia’s top-spinner. He was deadly in the 2019 Ashes series and has taken 85 wickets against England.
Mitchell Swepson was also named for the South African tour that was cancelled and has subsequently been named in the Ashes test.
Full Ashes Squad:
Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Steve Smith, David Warner
When is the first Ashes test?
The first Ashes test is set to be played from 8 December 2021 to 12 December 2021 at the Gabba in Brisbane.
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