April 16, 2021, 7:23

Jake Ball named in England side for first Ashes Test in Brisbane

Jake Ball named in England side for first Ashes Test in Brisbane

Jake Ball has been passed fit to take his place in the England starting XI for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.

The 26-year-old seamer takes the final place, ahead of fellow seamer Craig Overton, in an England line-up which has otherwise been inked in for several weeks.

Captain Joe Root did not take the opportunity to name his team for the Gabba at his final pre-series press conference but following England practice at the ground on the eve of the opening match, a team spokesman announced Ball had made the cut.

It will be the 26-year-old’s fourth Test cap, but first in an Ashes series, following his recovery from a sprained ankle suffered in England’s second warm-up match in Adelaide two weeks ago.

Speaking to ecb.co,uk, Root said: “It wasn’t an easy decision. Craig’s come into the squad, and everything that’s been asked of him he’s done brilliantly well but Jake has bowled well when he’s had his opportunities on the tour.

“I think the way he goes about things on these surfaces could be really challenging for the Australians.

“He wouldn’t be playing if not,” said Root when asked about Ball’s fitness. “He’s worked really hard and done everything he can to make sure he’s in top shape for this first Test.”

Australia, meanwhile, have drafted all-rounder Glenn Maxwell into their squad with opener David Warner and middle-order batsman Shaun Marsh battling neck and back injuries respectively.

Home skipper Smith, however, is confident his vice-captain Warner will play in Brisbane. “He said he’ll even bat like Shivnarine Chanderpaul if he has to and face the other way. So, I think he’ll be alright,” the 28-year-old told reporters.

England XI: Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (capt), Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes

Australia XI (probable): David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (captain), Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon

Source: skysports.com

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