1st Ashes Test, England vs Australia: Playing his first Test since the infamous ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, Australia’s ace batsman Steve Smith received a tough reception from the harsh English crowd on the day one of the Ashes opener at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Aiming to complete the double after winning their maiden 50-over World Cup title, England are extreme favourites to clinch the keenly-awaited Ashes series against arch-rivals Australia. Also Read - AUS vs IND 4th Test: Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur Break 30-Year-Old Record of Kapil Dev-Manoj Prabhakar, Stitch India's Highest Seventh-Wicket Stand at Gabba
England crowd riding high on the confidence of being crowned as ‘world champions’ wasted no time and welcomed the Australian team with non-stop chants of – ‘Aussie cheats’ in the first Test. The Aussie trio of Cameron Bancroft, David Warner and Smith playing their first Test match after returning from the tampering ban got a hostile reception. The crowd went a step further and carried ‘sandpaper’ along with them to the stadium and face-masks to disturb the opposition. Also Read - PAK vs SA 2021: South Africa Not Easy to Beat But Pakistan Banking on Home Advantage, Says Coach Misbah-ul-Haq
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Playing in his first test since the Cape Town ‘Sandpaper gate’ which saw him banned for 12 months and stripped of the captaincy, Smith already concedes that his habit of “shadow batting” in front of the hotel mirror into the early hours of the morning won’t change when the first Test begins. He’s told former England captain Nasser Hussain for Skysports.com, that he will only get 15 hours of sleep during the entire five days of the Test.
Earlier, Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and decided to bat in the first Ashes Test against England at Edgbaston on Thursday. Ashes-holders Australia have not won a match of any kind at Edgbaston since 2001, while England have won their past 11 internationals at the Birmingham ground.
Australia are looking for their first Ashes series win in England in 18 years.
Playing XIs —
England: Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root(c), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Australia: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine(c), James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon.