England have selected pacer Jake Ball and Dawid Malan in the playing XI for the first Test of the 2017 Ashes that is scheduled to start in Brisbane tomorrow. The right-handed pacer, who is a part of a four-man pace attack, was an overwhelming doubt after suffering an ankle injury two weeks ago.
Ball, who has represented England in three Tests in his career so far, will be a part of England’s pace quartet that includes Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Chris Woakes. England’s only full-time spinner will be allrounder Moeen Ali while Jonny Bairstow will be handed the responsibility of keeping wickets.
Mark Stoneman, who scored a half-century in every warm-up game in Australia, is likely to partner Alastair Cook at the start of the innings while James Vince will be preferred at the No.3 spot. While skipper Joe Root will hold onto his No. 4 spot, rookie Dawid Malan, who scored a century in the final warm-up game, will bat at No.5.
Craig Overton, who had been impressive in the warm-up games, is the only real exclusion from the expected XI and Root was quick to point that it was a difficult decision for the management.
"It wasn't an easy decision," Joe Root said, reported Cricket.com.au.
"Craig has come into the squad and everything asked of him he's done really well. All the players on their first tour have impressed and it's great that the whole squad seems to be performing.
"Jake has bowled well when he's had his opportunity on the tour and the way he goes about things on these surfaces could be really challenging for the Australians."
England XI :
Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Joe Root (c), Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson, Jake Ball.