England make a huge selection call for Friday’s Ashes First Test at Edgbaston, while Moeen Ali returns directly against the Aussies after answering Ben Stokes’ SOS call
England made their big call for selection from the Ashes today when they named Stuart Broad to face Australia at Edgbaston on Friday and left out Mark Wood.
Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum had faced a major dilemma between the veteran who always rises to the big chances at Broad and the all-important point of difference that Wood brings with his extra pace.
But once England confirmed Jimmy Anderson and Ollie Robinson had recovered from minor injuries and were fit to play, they decided to go with the experience and sense of opportunity that Broad brings.
Moeen Ali, meanwhile, has been confirmed as England’s substitute for the injured Jack Leach and will make his first red-ball appearance for two years on his pitch after answering England’s SOS call.
The decision leaves England with three medium-fast pace bowlers similar to Anderson, Robinson and Broad on what looks like flat Edgbaston ground.
England chose Stuart Broad (left) over Mark Wood (right) for the Ashes’ first Test at Edgbaston
Broad will be partnered with England’s top wicket-taker James Anderson (left) in attack
Moeen Ali was also chosen, after answering England’s SOS call following the injury to Jack Leach
This means there will be no extreme pace, with Jofra Archer and Olly Stone injured and Wood sidelined, which Stokes had seen as crucial to the Ashes’ England hopes.
But it’s an understandable call because of what Broad brings. He fired Australian David Warner cheaply seven out of 10 times at the last Ashes in England four years ago and now has the perfect opportunity to set the tone against the Australian under pressure at the top of the order in front of a noisy Edgbaston crowd. .
Broad took the 20th five-wicket shot of his Test career in Ireland’s comprehensive defeat at Lord’s and relishes the kind of challenge Australia will provide in the most anticipated Ashes series since 2005.
And it looks like Stokes himself will be fit to play at least some role with the ball in Friday’s first Test after completing his longest stint in training at Edgbaston today both on the outfield and then in the fillets.
England – Duckett, Crawley, Pope, Root, Brook, Stokes (captain), Bairstow (keeper), Moeen, Broad, Robinson, Anderson.