In 2009, England were sucked into playing two spinners in Cardiff. Ultimately they were grateful as Panesar helped save the day, but his pairing with Graeme Swann was not fruitful. They are unlikely to go down that route again despite the presence of Adil Rashid. The recent (British) heatwave has abated somewhat in South Wales, so four quicks with Moeen Ali – and some Root – is the most likely attack. Meanwhile, Gary Ballance and Ian Bell both begin the series under some pressure.
England 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Adam Lyth, 3 Gary Ballance, 4 Ian Bell, 5 Joe Root, 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Jos Buttler (wk), 8 Moeen Ali, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Mark Wood, 11 James Anderson
Two Marshs, one Marsh or no Marsh. That appears to be Australia’s selection conundrum. Has Chris Rogers, who missed the two Tests in West Indies with concussion, done enough to force his way back past Shaun Marsh and has Shane Watson done enough to keep his place ahead of Mitchell Marsh? The answer to both would appear to be yes.
Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Chris Rogers, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Adam Voges, 6 Shane Watson, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Nathan Lyon
Pitch and conditions