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Australia choose to bat first in Ashes opener, Mitchelll Starc out

Australia choose to bat first in Ashes opener, Mitchelll Starc out
© Reuters
The five-Test series starts at Edgbaston.

England will bowl first in the opening Ashes Test at Edgbaston after Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad will be given an early opportunity to bowl at the Australia top order under grey skies in Birmingham as England look to win back the urn.

Skipper Joe Root said: "I'm not disappointed at all. It's good, overcast conditions, a little bit tacky so there might be a little bit there there for us. Hopefully we can exploit that. We've got a very strong bowling unit in these conditions."

Cameron Bancroft will open for Australia as he makes his first Test appearance since being banned for his role in the ball tampering scandal.

The tourists also named 34-year-old seamer Peter Siddle in their team, with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who shared the new ball for Australia during the last Ashes series, both sitting out.

Paine, who is leading Australia into an Ashes series for the first time, said: "The wicket looks nice and hard and dry. Hopefully we can post a good total in the first innings and we've got Nathan Lyon up our sleeve at the back end of the game."

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England captain Joe Root pictured before the 2019 Ashes opener on July 31, 2019
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