Image Source: Twitter

England and Australia are set to take on each other in the first match of the Ashes 2021-22, starting 8th December 2021 at The Gabba in Brisbane. Australia have already named their playing XI for the first Test. Aussies will be led by a new skipper in Pat Cummins, while Steve Smith will assume the vice-captaincy duties.

Steve Smith, ICC World Test Championship
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

David Warner will open the batting alongside Marcus Harris. Marcus Labuschagne and Steve Smith will come at three and four, followed by Travis Head, Cameron Green, and Alex Carey. Notably, the Aussies have persisted with their famed bowling attack comprising of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Nathan Lyon.

Over the last few days, there have been debate over replacing  Jhye Richardson with Starc. However, the team management has persisted with Starc, showing full faith in his abilities to perform well in the series. In the absence of Tim Paine, Alex Carey will be the first-choice wicketkeeper of the Australian Cricket Team.

Joe Root
Joe Root en route to his hundred at Headingley. (Image Credit: Twitter)

On the other hand, England, too, have announced their 12-man squad ahead of the first Test. Joe Root will lead the team, while Ben Stokes marks his return to international cricket after taking a break from all forms of the game.

Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns should open the innings, followed by Dawid Malan and Joe Root at number three and four. Jos Buttler will don the wicket-keeping gloves. Buttler hasn’t been in the best of forms in Test Cricket but he is coming off superlative performances in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope looks in fine touch at his home ground. (Image: Twitter)

Between Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope, the latter has been given the nod, which means Bairstow has been rested for the first Test. Along with him, James Anderson has also been rested in a bid to make him fully for the pink-ball Test in Adelaide. The fast bowling unit is comprised of Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson, while Jack Lean is the lone spinner.

AUS vs ENG Head to Head Records: Australia’s Head to Head Record vs England- Ashes 2021-22, First Test

Ashes 2021
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Teams Head to Head Records: Tests 

Stats Matches AUS Win  ENG Won Draw
Overall 351 146 110 95
Ashes Title 71 33 32 6
In the last 5 matches 5 2 2 1

Australia and England have played against each other in 351 Tests in the history of their Test rivalry. Australia have dominated, having won as many as 146 Tests. England, on the other hand, have managed to win 110 Tests, while 95 Tests resulted in draws.

For those of you who don’t know, the first match of the Ashes series was played on 15th March 1877. The last Ashes series was held in England in 2019. Both the team won 2 matches each, while one resulted in a draw.