Australia’s newly appointed skipper Pat Cummins has revealed the playing XI for the first test at Gabba.
Pat Cummins on Sunday revealed that Travis Head will be batting at No.5 while Mitchell Starc will continue to hold his place in the bowling lineup. The skipper has announced the playing XI three days prior to the start of the test on Wednesday.
The announcement was made at the official launch of the Test series, as players huddled around the crystal replica trophy.
On the other hand, England skipper Joe Root has decided not to reveal his playing XI ahead of the start of the test.
“We’ve got all the options on the table but we’re not going to name a team just yet. We’ll have to see the forecast and how that pitch changes over the next couple of days,” cricket.com.au quoted Root as saying.
“But it’s a great place to play spin. It’s something we’ll weigh up and consider, but we’re not in a position to make that call right now,” he added.
Cummins revealed that it was a tight call between Usman Khawaja and Travis Head in the middle order.
“It was a tight one,” captain Pat Cummins said.
“The selectors make the call, both really good options, in really strong form. The experience from Uzzie is great and we are really lucky to have that but Trav has been playing a lot of us in the last couple of years and has churned out runs,” the skipper added.
Head regained his place in the playing XI which he lost against India midway through the series. Earlier this season, he was also included in the South Africa tour which has been postponed now.
Cummins also revealed that he will not be the one taking the new ball. Instead, it will be Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.
“He’s building up nicely, we had a really good centre-wicket yesterday, he was fast, he was swinging the ball big. We weren’t surprised but it was great see. You’ve got some of the best batters in the world, Steve Smith, Marnus who looked like Starcy was a handful. So good signs,” Cummins said.
Earlier, Tim Paine stepped down as the captain of the test squad following a sexting scandal. Pat Cummins was appointed as the new leader with Steve Smith his deputy.
Australia Playing XI: Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.