England’s bid to regain the Ashes from Australia begins with the first Test at Edgbaston on Thursday. England vs Australia Live Cricket Streaming.
The home side won the World Cup just over two weeks ago but were beaten 4-0 on their tour down under in 2017-18.
England have not lost a home Ashes series since 2001 and have not lost at Edgbaston to any side in 11 years.
They have opted against handing a debut to pace bowler Jofra Archer, instead preferring Chris Woakes on his home ground.
Australia are yet to confirm their team, but batsmen Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are in line to play Test cricket for the first time since being banned for their part in the ball-tampering scandal on the tour of South Africa in 2018.
The series, the latest start to an Ashes in the UK, will move on to Lord’s, Headingley and Old Trafford before the urn is lifted at The Oval after a fifth Test that begins on 12 September.
In the spotlight
It’s all on you, skipper. Joe Root has had a relatively quiet time in his last three England innings – all at Lord’s, and none of them doing much to pull his sides out of a top-order funk. But as the captain of a home Ashes series, and knowing full well that his scalp will be prized more highly than any other in England’s ranks, Root’s bitten the bullet and pushed himself up into that troublesome top three. The logic, on the face of it, seems perverse. A simple 3-4 swap with Joe Denly does little to address concerns about the openers against the moving ball, whereas a promotion for Denly might have allowed Jason Roy a bit more of a chance to bed in at 3 without sacrificing Root’s established strength at 4.
His senior team-mates have heard it all already throughout the World Cup, but for Cameron Bancroft- restored to the top of the order after quietly going about his business for Durham in the County Championship – his re-emergence into the glare of the international spotlight promises to be even more intense than that of Smith and Warner. He was, after all, the man caught yellow-handed with sandpaper down his underpants in Cape Town, but added to that is the fall-out from that bizarre Johnny Bairstow head-butting story in the last Ashes, the sort of stitch-up that England’s players (and supporters) are unlikely to forget in a hurry. But more importantly, of course, Bancroft has the enviable honour of setting Australia’s agenda against Anderson and Broad, armed with the new ball. He might have once feared his career was over for good. Now he’s got one hell of a stage for a second coming.
The top-three whirligig aside, the story of England’s selection is the identity of their seam attack. James Anderson has been passed fit following his calf tear four weeks ago, so slots into the XI ahead of Olly Stone, with Chris Woakes set to play only his second Test at Edgbaston – a venue where he boasts Tim Murtagh-at-Lord’s-esque figures. Moeen Ali, another Birmingham native, will play as the solitary spinner – no room for Lord’s batting hero Jack Leach this time – while England’s middle order welcomes back the power couple, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. Sam Curran, whose runs against Ireland were also vital in tipping the balance in that crazy contest, reverts to bench-warming once again.
England: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Rory Burns, 3 Joe Root (capt), 4 Joe Denly, 5 Jos Buttler, 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 8 Moeen Ali, 9 Chris Woakes, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson
Extraordinary as it may seem to anyone who watched him in awe during the World Cup, Mitchell Starc seems destined to be overlooked as Australia face up to the flip-side of having such a wealth of fast-bowling options – the inevitability that someone is going to be bitterly disappointed. James Pattinson is guaranteed his first Ashes outing since 2013 after hugely impressive displays for Nottinghamshire and in Australia warm-ups, and with Pat Cummins also inked in, the final seam berth will be between Josh Hazlewood and the ageless Peter Siddle, another whose county form for Essex has encouraged the selectors that he will nail an English length from the get-go. In the batting stakes, Bancroft’s 93 not out in that frenzied warm-up at the Ageas Bowl should earn him a shot at post-sandpaper redemption, while Khawaja is back at 3 after recovering from a hamstring strain. Travis Head is the incumbent at No.5, though Mitchell Marsh may yet feature to provide a fourth-seamer option.
Australia (possible): 1 David Warner, 2 Cameron Bancroft, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steve Smith, 5 Travis Head/Mitchell Marsh, 6 Matthew Wade, 7 Tim Paine (capt & wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 James Pattinson, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Peter Siddle/Josh Hazlewood.
Pitch and conditions
A belter of a pitch is usually in prospect at Edgbaston, though the heavy rain that forced the players to train indoors on Tuesday may yet be a factor in the final preparation. Either way, it currently looks brown and true – none of the unnerving live grass that proved such a factor at Lord’s. England, it seems, are placing their faith in their special batch of thick-seamed, heavy-lacquered Dukes balls, rather than the surfaces.
Edgbaston is sold out for the first three days, with a few hundred tickets still available for day four. The weather forecast is not great, but it should at least be pretty dry (if cool) for the first two days.
Sports greatest rivalry. Unforgettable moments. The Ashes is coming back to Birmingham.
Tickets have sold out for the first three days of this summer’s opening Specsavers Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Edgbaston.
Tickets for Ashes Sunday – on Sunday 4 August – are on general sale, but only a limited number are still available. It’s your chance to witness history being made and on a day that has thrown up plenty of drama, tension and excitement in the past.
Tickets for the fifth and final day of England’s opening Test of the Specsavers Ashes Series are on sale now, priced at £25 for adults and £5 for under 16s.
Edgbaston is a venue that is a favourite amongst players, fans and officials alike. Whether you are dancing in the Hollies, relaxing in our Skyline Terrace or even experiencing your first international match, we promise to provide an experience you will remember for a lifetime.
Match: England vs Australia
Competition: Ashes 2019
Date: Thursday, 1st August 2019
Kick-off time: 10:00 AM GMT
Stadium: Edgbaston, Birmingham
Stadium Capacity: 25,000
Address: Edgbaston Stadium, Edgbaston Rd, Birmingham B5 7QU, UK
What TV Channel: Sky Sports Cricket & Sky Sports Main Event
Live Streaming: LMI Sports ( World Wide)