First Ashes Test 2021: when does Australia vs England cricket start - teams, weather and record at The Gabba

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England have named their squad ahead of the first Ashes test match in Brisbane

The hour finally approaches when England will begin their Ashes campaign in Australia. Australia have held on to the urn since 2018 and were able to retain the trophy after drawing 2-2 in England in 2019.

It will be 72nd time the two sides have faced each other in an Ashes series and the 2021/22 series will see Australia being led by a new captain.

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Tim Paine recently stepped down from his role following a texting scandal that took place over four years ago and fast bowler Pat Cummins has taken on the position.

The Ashes series are arguably the most important test matches that the two sides play as the historical aspect of the battles have kept the fire and competition alive for nearly 150 years.

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There is an ancient rivalry between England and Australia that makes the Ashes some of the most exciting and nail biting test matches to take place in the world of cricket.

In 2019, one of the most famous test matches in recent years took place at Headingley with Ben Stokes and Jack Leach putting up an astounding last wicket stand enabling England to win by one wicket.

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In 2015, Stuart Broad bowled his best ever figures during the test match at Trent Bridge as Australia were bowled out for 60 thanks to 8-15 from Broad.

The 2005 Ashes series is probably one of the most famous, especially for any English fan, as it was the first time in nearly 30 years that England had won back the urn.

Freddie Flintoff won the Player of the Series thanks to his 24 wickets and 402 runs and sealed his place in history as a sporting icon.

This year, England will hope to create history once more as they aim to beat Australia in Australia for the first time since 2010/11.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the first test match.

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When is the first test match taking place?

The first Ashes match will start on Wednesday 8 December and, if the full five days are played, will conclude on Sunday 12 December 2021

Play will commence at midnight GMT and will likely go on until around 7.30am GMT

JPI Media Graphics: Mark Hall

How to watch the Ashes test matches?

BT Sport have the rights for the coverage of the Ashes series. A monthly pass for BT Sport starts at £25/month and gives you access to every BT Sport channel without needing a contract or BT broadband.

Go to our How to watch the Ashes article to find out more.

Where is the first test match being played?

England will begin their Ashes campaign at the Gabba, Brisbane.

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JPI Media Graphics: Mark Hall

What is England’s record at the Gabba?

England notoriously have a bad record at the Gabba. They have only won two test matches in Brisbane since the end of the second world war, the latest being in their victorious series in 2010/11. Alistair Cook, Andrew Strauss and Jonathon Trott put on a scorecard of 517/1.

The Brisbane Cricket Ground has been dubbed the ‘Gabbatoir’, and out of the 20 tests that have been played there, England have only won four in history and drawn five.

Before 2010, England last won at the Gabba in 1986 and the then England captain, Mike Gatting, has said: “That first ball, first over and first couple of hours are crucial.”

Speaking to the ECB, Gatting said “As captain, if you win the toss you think you should bowl, but then have a bat. You need to bat well, though, but once you get through the first session it becomes a good pitch for two or three days.

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“Quite often the team that wins the first session at Brisbane wins the test.”

What is the weather in Brisbane this week?

From Wednesday through to Friday, it is likely that there will be thundery showers and light winds. Temperatures throughout the test will be around 30℃.

The chance of rain during England’s stay in Brisbane might turn out to be a blessing based on their record at the ground.

Saturday 11 December will be bright and sunny but Sunday returns back to the possibility of light rain showers and gentle breeze.

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What are the squads?

James Anderson will miss out on the first test in Brisbane as the selectors have favoured Broad, Robinson, Wood and Woakes.

JPI Media Graphics: Mark Hall

Ollie Pope has also been favoured over Jonny Bairstow.

It is likely that Alex Carey will make his Australian Test debut as he replaces Tim Paine in the squad as wicket-keeper.

England: Joe Root (c) , Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Australia: Pat Cummins (c) , Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Head, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner

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