BRISBANE (Reuters) - England paceman Jake Ball has beaten out Craig Overton to be the touring side’s fourth seamer in the series-opening Ashes test against Australia starting in Brisbane on Thursday.
Ball will be thrown into the Gabba cauldron in just his fourth test after recovering from a sprained ankle that saw him scratched from the tour match in Adelaide and rested for the final warm-up in Townsville last week, where Overton bowled.
Ball joins front-line quicks James Anderson and Stuart Broad at the Gabba, along with pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. Craig has come into the squad and everything asked of him he’s done really well,” Root, who declined to name the side earlier at his pre-match media conference on Wednesday, later said in a statement.
“All the players on their first tour have impressed and it’s great that the whole squad seems to be performing.
“Jake has bowled well when he’s had his opportunity on the tour and the way he goes about things on these surfaces could be really challenging for the Australians.”
Team: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford/John O'Brien