Aussies opt to bat in SCG Ashes Test

Rob Forsaith |

Australia have opted to bat first under overcast skies at the SCG, where the start of the fourth Ashes Test has been delayed because of rain.

The toss was originally scheduled for 10am AEDT, but was pushed pushed back 30 minutes.

“It looks a really good batting wicket,” Pat Cummins said after winning the toss.

“Probably more grass than we normally expect here.

“Openers have to work hard this morning, but runs are there.

“SCG has always been a bat-first wicket.”

England skipper Joe Root said he would also have batted first if given the chance.

Play will start at 11am AEDT, with further showers expected throughout the match.

Australia and England named their XI on match eve, both opting for one change.

Usman Khawaja is playing his first Test since 2019, having been called up in the absence of Travis Head to bat at No.5.

Head remained in Melbourne, having contracted COVID-19 after the Boxing Day Test.

The tourists have recalled veteran paceman Stuart Broad in place of Ollie Robinson.

Australia hold an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series, having crushed England by an innings and 14 runs at the MCG.

Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (capt), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.

England XI: Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (capt), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Butler, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Jimmy Anderson.