When naming their side for the first Ashes Test, which will take place at Edgbaston on Wednesday, England chose to go with Stuart Broad’s experience rather than Mark Wood’s sheer speed.
There was just one space available in the seam attack for the first game of the series on Friday. James Anderson and Ollie Robinson were both able to make their comeback to the XI after being rested due to injury concerns during the match against Ireland at Lord’s.
Ben Stokes, who is the captain of the team, has said in the past that he wants to have a bowler who has express speed. Given that Jofra Archer and Olly Stone are both unable to play, Stokes would have been inclined to choose Wood.
But Broad, who already has 582 wickets in Tests and who led the attack against Ireland quite well, has been given the nod for this match.
His selection ensures that another chapter will be written in the 36-year-old’s historic rivalry with Australia opener David Warner. Warner, who struggled mightily against Broad in 2019, when the Englishman dismissed him seven times in 10 innings, will face off against Broad again if his selection is confirmed.
The only uncertainty that remains for the England team is whether or not all-rounder Ben Stokes will be fit to play given that spinner Moeen Ali has agreed to make a comeback to the Test format of the game.
The captain has had long-standing issues with his left knee, which have been a persistent topic of discussion; but, during the last 48 hours, he has increased his involvement in training and is bowling at speeds that are near to full pace.
Ben Duckett, who will be batting first, and Harry Brook, who will also be batting, are the only two players on the team who will be making their Ashes debuts in Birmingham.
The following players will represent England in the first Ashes test match at Edgbaston:
Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, and James Anderson make up the rest of the English batting lineup.