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Ashes 2021-22: Australia announce playing XI for the Gabba Test

Travis Head has been picked ahead in place of Usman Khawaja.

Cummins and Root
Cummins and Root (Source: Twitter)

Australia have announced their playing XI for the first Ashes Test match starting on December 8 at Gabba in Brisbane. Wicketkeeper batter Alex Carey has been included in the playing XI and is all set to make his Test debut. The southpaw will replace Tim Paine, who has taken an indefinite break from the game following sexting scandal that also led him to resign from captaincy.

Carey has been preferred over other candidates, Josh Inglis, and Matthew Wade. His domestic record for South Australia is good and that was one of the reasons the selectors picked him over the other two prospective options. The southpaw has played 45 first-class matches and has almost scored 2500 runs. He has also done well behind the stumps and is considered a brilliant wicketkeeper.

Meanwhile, Travis Head has been picked in the playing in place of Usman Khawaja. Australia Test captain Pat Cummins said it was tough to select between the two. Khawaja was part of the last Ashes series in 2019 played in England but lost his place to Marnus Labuschagne. Meanwhile, Head has grabbed his chances in the middle order and has scored 1153 runs in 19 Tests.

On the other hand, Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, and Nathon Lyon will be seen in the bowling lineup. Australia head coach Justin Langer spoke about the pace trio’s preparation for the Ashes despite the wet outfield in Brisbane due to rains.

“(Their preparation) has been excellent. We had some brilliant center-wicket practice (at Metricon Stadium), we always thought that their workloads coming from the World Cup and because we went so deep, that we might’ve had to work a bit harder on that, but they’ve been great,” Langer was quoted as saying in cricket.com.au.

“They’ve had three or four center-wicket sessions, and you saw how the boys bowled (Saturday) – they’re up and about, and they’re very confident after the World Cup, and with the experience of their careers. So, I’m happy with the way they’re going,” he added.

Australia’s XI

Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

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