Stuart Broad is DROPPED for first Ashes Test in favour of Jack Leach

Stuart Broad is DROPPED for first Ashes Test in favour of Jack Leach and Mark Wood, despite fellow veteran James Anderson missing out with injury

  • Stuart Broad dropped for first Ashes Test at the Gabba on Wednesday
  • Joe Root opted to select spinner Jack Leach in place Broad for opening Test 
  • James Anderson also missed first Test because of injury
  • Joe Root opted to bat first in series opener in Brisbane on Wednesday  

England left 1,156 Test wickets on the sidelines for their Ashes opener against Australia, with Stuart Broad joining James Anderson in missing out as Joe Root chose to bat first at The Gabba.

The tourists preferred spinner Jack Leach to Broad in Brisbane, with the left-armer supplementing a seam attack of Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood and all-rounder Ben Stokes.

For Stokes it represented a first competitive appearance in five months, with the vice-captain having missed much of the English summer while he took a break to prioritise his mental and physical health.

Stuart Broad was dropped for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on Wednesday

Root won the toss and opted to ask Australia to field first, a brave decision with grey skies overhead and an unusually green-looking pitch underfoot.

‘We are blessed with a very good seam attack and it was a difficult decision to make,’ the England captain said.

‘There’s five Tests and it’s important they’re ready to go when called upon at any time. 

England’s record wicket taker James Anderson has also missed the first Test through injury 

Joe Root took the bold decision of batting first on a green deck after winning the toss

But the decision backfired as Mitchell Starc removed Rory Burns with the first ball of the series 

‘We have prepared and planned really well. We’re grateful to get the opportunity to play a series like this and we want to make the most of it.’

Australia named their XI three days in advance, with Pat Cummins skippering for the first time and wicketkeeper Alex Carey making his Test debut.

The Ashes got off to a nightmare start for England, as Rory Burns was clean bowled by Mitchell Starc with the first ball of the series, before Josh Hazelwood removed Dawid Malan in the fourth over.

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