Ashes 2023: Wood Out, Moeen In, England Announces Playing11 For First Ashes Test

As the highly anticipated Ashes series gets underway, England has unveiled their playing XI for the first Test match at Edgbaston. The team selection has brought some surprises and notable absences, creating an intriguing lineup.

One of the most striking omissions from the starting XI is Mark Wood, who has been left out of the trio pace attack. With Wood absent, England will rely on the experienced trio of Ollie Robinson, James Anderson, and Stuart Broad to spearhead their bowling unit. This decision means England will lack an out-and-out fast option, emphasizing the team’s faith in the chosen pacers’ abilities.

Moeen Ali’s return to Test cricket has garnered attention as he has been included in the squad and is set to play. Ali’s inclusion resulted from Jack Leach’s unfortunate absence due to a stress fracture. Although Ali was widely expected to be part of the team, there were speculations about England opting for a four-person seam attack, with captain Joe Root contributing some overs of spin. However, Ali’s experience and all-round abilities seemed to convince the selectors to stick to their original plan.

The batting lineup remains largely unchanged from England’s previous Test against Ireland at Lord’s. Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett will open the innings, followed by the talented Ollie Pope at number three. Pope, who impressed with a double-century in the Ireland Test, has now been appointed as Ben Stokes’ vice-captain, reflecting his growing influence in the team.

The first Ashes Test will mark a significant milestone for England’s captain, Joe Root, as he plays his 30th Test against Australia at Edgbaston. Joe Root will be positioned at number four in the batting order, aiming to lead his side from the front and contribute substantially with the bat against the formidable Australian bowling attack.

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After recovering from a broken leg, Jonny Bairstow returns to the team, taking up the wicketkeeping duties at number seven. Bairstow’s presence will provide depth and experience to the middle order. Harry Brook and Ben Stokes complete the lineup, occupying the fifth and sixth positions, respectively. Their contributions with the bat will be crucial in stabilizing the innings and building substantial partnerships.

England’s XI for the first Ashes Test: Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson

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