The Ashes rivalry piques the interest of cricket aficionados all over the globe, more so this time around when Australia are Test champions and England are reinventing the format itself.
The fact that the hosts are pushing the envelope was evident in the manner Zac Crawley dealt with the very first ball of the series, throwing his hands at a good-length ball from Pat Cummins to fetch four. It was a statement of a shot, an early harbinger of how England are going to approach the five Tests.
While England declared their team two days out from the start, Australia have picked Josh Hazlewood at the expense of Mitchell Starc while Scott Boland retained his place in the XI.
Australia (Playing XI): David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey(w), Pat Cummins(c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland
England (Playing XI): Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes(c), Jonny Bairstow(w), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson
We were all Stokesy there…
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 16, 2023