Joe Root won the toss and chose to bat against Australia in the first Test of the Ashes on Wednesday. Jack Leach was called in the side as Stuart Broad was benched for England. 

Pat Cummins is leading the home team, putting a fast bowler’s perspective on Australia’s test cricket captaincy for the first time since the 1950s. 

Also read: Steve Smith to Joe Root: 5 players to watch out for in Ashes 2021

Talking about taking over the reigns, Cummins said, “I feel great. The buzz has been amazing. The boys are really excited and quite relaxed. We were probably going to have a bat but I think it is 50-50 here, I don’t think it really matters. There’s going to be a bit for us.”

Alex Carey will be making his Test debut for Australia. 

“We are really excited to get out there. I thought one of Broad or Anderson would play each Test. Broad obviously bowled well to Davey, but it’s a different country. They are a good XI, we have to play well. Any debut match … want to make it special for him. Alex has been around the Australian team for 5-6 years. Great guy, works really hard.”

Also read: Ashes and the urn: How cricket’s oldest rivalry got its name, trophy

England rested Broad and star pacer James Anderson. 

Explaining the decision, Root said, “Very good seam attack, it was a difficult decision to make (to rest Anderson and Broad). There’s five Tests, it’s important that all of them are ready to go when called upon. Immensely ready, we’ve prepared and planned very well for this series. So grateful to get the opportunity to play a series like this and we want to make the most of it.”

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

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