Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Head, Starc make Australia's XI for Ashes opener. Travis Head scored two centuries in the first five rounds of Sheffield Shield.
Travis Head scored two centuries in the first five rounds of Sheffield Shield.
Travis Head and Mitchell Starc have been named in Pat Cummins's first XI as Test captain as Australia locked in their playing personnel three days out from the Ashes opener at the Gabba.
Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Head pipped Usman Khawaja for the No.5 slot after both the left-handers had made their case for selection with strong performances in the early rounds of the Sheffield Shield in the build up to the Brisbane Test. Head and Khawaja have two centuries each from the five games with the former scoring a 101 in the most recent clash against Khawaja's Queensland.
Meanwhile, it is unknown if Mitchell Starc's position in the XI was in doubt but there were aspersions cast by some former Australian cricketers, most notably Shane Warne, who backed Jhye Richardson's inclusion with the Western Australia quick bagging 23 wickets from four Shield games so far. Starc, though, held onto his spot in Australia's bowling attack that will have Cameron Green as the all-rounder.
While Cummins was happy to reveal his playing XI, England skipper Joe Root didn't follow suit, but said spinner Jack Leach remained in contention to play.
“We've got all the options on the table (but) we're not going to name a team just yet,” Root said. “We'll have to see the closer forecast and how that pitch changes over the next couple of days.
“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.”