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Australia opt to bat in first Ashes Test (Toss)

Australia skipper Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat in the first Ashes Test against England starting at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Thursday.
Australia opt to bat in first Ashes Test (Toss)

"(The wicket) looks nice, hard and dry. We will try to post a good total for Nathan Lyon in the second innings," said Paine. "The boys are pumped and looking forward to getting the first hour out of the way."

Australia have made six changes to their team that played in their last Test. Peter Siddle is in and there's no Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc. "They've been quality performers and will play a part in the series, no question. Siddle complements the other two."

"The boys are rapt to have them back," Paine said about the trio of Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner involved in the Sandpaper Gate controversy.

"I am not disappointed to be honest. Hopefully we can exploit the overcast conditions. We always love playing here as we get fantastic support. The atmosphere is always electric," said England captain Joe Root.

On Jofra Archer's absence, Root said: "We've got the luxury of two guys who performed particularly well in the second innings last week (Broad and Woakes)."

Playing XI: Australia: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine(w/c), James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon

England: Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (c), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (w), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

( With inputs from IANS )

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