Australia confirms team for First Test, Shane Warne’s advice rejected BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 21: Steve Smith, Pat Cummins and Travis Head of Australia stand during the national anthem during day one of the 1st Domain Test between Australia and Pakistan at The Gabba on November 21, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)


Captain Pat Cummins has announced his team for the First Ashes Test, confirming Shane Warne’s advice has been given the cold shoulder.

Pat Cummins has confirmed Mitchell Starc and Travis Head have been selected for the First Test at the Gabba this week.

The new Aussie captain announced his XI in an official series launch in Brisbane on Sunday.

The selectors’ decision to pick Starc ahead of Jhye Richardson comes after public comments from Aussie legend Shane Warne calling for Starc to be dropped.

Head was also in a direct battle with Usman Khawaja to win the spot batting at No. 5.

Starc, meanwhile, has had an underwhelming 12 months in the national side by his standards, going back to last summer’s Test series against India, in which he only snared 11 wickets in four matches at an average of 40.72.

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The left-arm paceman’s sub-par form in national colours continued at the recent T20 World Cup, where he took nine wickets at 27.55 and leaked runs — notably in the final against New Zealand, where he went 0/60 off his four overs.

Warne has long been a critic of Starc, famously taking aim at the quick’s body language several years ago and just earlier this month, saying he’s “nowhere” as he expressed concerns about Australia’s squad for the Ashes.

The spin king last week doubled down, suggesting Starc should be left out of the team for the Ashes in favour of in-form West Australian Richardson, while also declaring off-spinner Nathan Lyon’s spot is under pressure after a poor showing against India.

“He (Lyon) had a poor summer last year, so did Mitchell Starc,” Warne said.

“He (Starc) needs to find a bit of rhythm and some form.

“He had a really poor World Cup. He’s just not bowling well enough.

“It’s too important at the Gabba. I’m all for Jhye Richardson (replacing Starc in the team).”

Starc, 31, has taken 255 wickets at an average of 27.57 across 61 Tests for Australia.

Warne, who took 708 Test wickets for Australia, said he hoped fellow leg-spinner Mitch Swepson puts some heat on Lyon for the spinner’s spot.

“I hope Mitch Swepson, as a leg-spinner, puts some pressure on Nathan Lyon,” he said.

Australia XI for First Ashes Test: Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

The First Test begins on December 8.



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