Ashes 2017-18: Jake Ball earns spot of fourth pacer in England's team for Brisbane Test

Jake Ball has won England's fourth seamer spot for the Ashes Test series opener after being passed fit to play against Australia at the Gabba on Thursday.

AFP, November 22, 2017

Brisbane: Jake Ball has won England's fourth seamer spot for the Ashes Test series opener after being passed fit to play against Australia at the Gabba on Thursday.

Nottinghamshire's Ball, 26, won the only contentious place ahead of fellow seamer Craig Overton in the England line-up after three warm-up games.

England will face Australia in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on Thursday. Twitter/@England Cricket

England will face Australia in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on Thursday. Twitter/@England Cricket

It will be Ball's fourth Test cap, but his first in an Ashes series, after his recovery from a sprained ankle suffered in England's second warm-up match in Adelaide two weeks ago.

"It wasn't an easy decision," skipper Joe Root the official England website on Wednesday.

"Craig's come into the squad, and everything that's been asked of him he's done brilliantly well, but Jake has bowled well when he's had his opportunities on the tour."

Root said Ball's adaptability to the Australian conditions had won him the nod.

"I think the way he goes about things on these surfaces could be really challenging for the Australians," Root said.

"He wouldn't be playing if not," Root added, when asked about Ball's fitness. "He's worked really hard and done everything he can to make sure he's in top shape for this first Test."

Ball has bowled only 15.4 overs so far on the tour, while Overton, who has not played a Test, featured in all three of England's tour games, taking eight wickets.

England will finalise their batting order on the morning of the Test, with reports suggesting that all-rounder Moeen Ali is likely to move above wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow to bat at number six.

England - Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes

Updated Date: Nov 22, 2017





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3634 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3772 97
6 Sri Lanka 3182 91
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6298 126
2 India 5743 122
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Pakistan 3391 103
6 Australia 3699 100
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3972 132
2 India 4601 124
3 Australia 2570 122
4 England 2448 117
5 New Zealand 2542 116
6 South Africa 2058 114