James Anderson and Stuart Broad were both left out of England’s starting XI for the first Ashes Test against old foes Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane
Australia ‘s new captain Pat Cummins has admitted he was surprised by England ‘s decision not to pick either James Anderson or Stuart Broad for the first Ashes Test at The Gabba.
England did not name Anderson in their 12-man squad for the Test, citing the 39-year-old’s workload as the reason behind his absence.
Broad, meanwhile, was named in the squad but omitted from the starting XI in favour of left-arm spinner Jack Leach.
Speaking after the toss, captain Joe Root explained: “We are blessed with a very good seam attack and it was a difficult decision to make.
“There’s five Tests and it’s important they’re ready to go when called upon at any time.”
The decision to leave two bowlers with over 1,100 Test wickets between them on the sidelines raised eyebrows from several cricket legends, including Allan Border, Shane Warne, Steve Harmison and Alastair Cook.
And Cummins was also shocked at the pair’s absence, saying: “I thought at least one of them would play in every game, if not both of them.
“We were surprised but they’ve got plenty of other bowlers to step in and pose us a challenge.”
Cummins was the star of the show for Australia on day one, picking up 5-38 in his first Test as skipper as England were skittled for a first innings total of just 147.
“It is the dream start really and it wasn’t a bad toss to lose,” Cummins added. “We all bowled really well and I’m really proud of how consistent everyone was. It was a really good start.
“I’m so happy for Starcy – that’s why he opens the bowling because he’s got a knack of picking up wickets in the first few overs.
“I was probably going to bat but it was 50-50 – I didn’t think it would have a huge bearing on the match.
“I felt like it would be better after lunch and it was a pretty standard day one Gabba pitch.”