Captains Joe Root and Pat Cummins pose before the first match in the Ashes series
Captains Joe Root and Pat Cummins pose before the first match in the Ashes series

England left Stuart Broad out of their team for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on Wednesday after already revealing James Anderson would miss the match.

It meant the tourists went into the series opener without pace bowlers who have collected a combined 1,156 Test wickets, and it amounted to a gamble.

The 35-year-old Broad has 524 of those wickets to his name, yet in Ashes Tests in Australia he has only taken 34 victims in 12 matches at an average of 37.17, strikingly different to his rate of 84 at 26.19 in home Tests against the same opposition.

England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat, with Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood chosen as frontline pace options, with Ben Stokes also sure to figure in that equation, backed up by spinner Jack Leach.

Root said: "We're blessed with a very good seam attack and a very good squad out here in that department in particular, and it was a very difficult decision to make.

"But there's five Test matches and all those guys I'm sure will be wanting to play a big part throughout this series, and it's important they're all ready to go when called upon at any time."

New Australia captain Pat Cummins said he was relishing the tussle, saying on BT Sport: "I feel great. Can't wait. The buzz has been amazing around town."

He added: "I thought maybe Broad or Anderson would play each Test, but it's not a huge deal. They're a good XI and we're going to have to play well."

Australia gave a Test debut to Alex Carey, with the wicketkeeper stepping in for Tim Paine, the former skipper who is taking time out of cricket after the lewd text message scandal that ended his time in charge of the team.

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