The Ashes: Australia player guides including Steve Smith and David Warner

David Warner celebrates his century
David Warner celebrates his century

Australia player-by-player guides ahead of the Ashes which gets under way at Edgbaston on August 1.

David Warner (Age 32, Tests 74)

The left-hander is set to return to the Test arena for the first time since being found guilty of ball-tampering in the match against South Africa in Cape Town in March 2018. England will be wary of a man with 21 Test centuries and an average nudging 50, who found top form at the World Cup with 647 runs.

Marcus Harris (27, 6)

Harris topped the run-scoring charts in Australia's domestic Sheffield Shield last season before impressing while opening alongside Joe Burns in his debut Test series against India. He has yet to score a Test century but, with a hundred for Australia A confirming his form, may get the nod ahead of Burns.

Usman Khawaja (32, 41)

The experienced left-hander failed to really fire at the World Cup, with just two half-centuries before a hamstring injury ruled him out of the semi-final. That has put his Ashes place in doubt, but Australia will hope to have him available at number three.

Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja

Steve Smith (30, 64)

The former captain was at the peak of his powers as Australia crushed England in the last Ashes series Down Under. He scored an extraordinary 687 runs in seven innings, with three centuries including 239 at Perth. He also starred in the last Ashes series in England with 508 runs in nine innings. Smith, like Warner, returns to Tests after the ball-tampering ban and will be desperate to shine once again.

Travis Head (25, 8)

Head is Australia's top run-scorer in Tests over the last 12 months having made his debut in October. Since then he has amassed 663 runs at an average of 51.00 and his maiden century - 161 against Sri Lanka in their last Test - has firmly cemented his place in the middle order.

Matthew Wade (31, 22)

September 2017 was the last time Wade played in a Test, but his form is very difficult to ignore. The aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman was second only to Harris in the Sheffield Shield last year, hitting over 1,000 runs, and has been in blistering touch for Australia A in England this summer. Could be an attacking option at number six.

Tim Paine (captain, wicketkeeper) (34, 21)

Paine has been front and centre as the face of Australia cricket as it attempts to rebuild its reputation after the ball-tampering scandal of last year. While his leadership is not in question, his batting is - he has just one first-class century in his career and that came back in 2006.

Tim Paine hits out at the Adelaide Oval
Tim Paine hits out at the Adelaide Oval

Joe Burns (29, 16)

Burns is Harris' main competition as opener. He cut short his stint as overseas player at Lancashire this summer after just one match, returning to Australia after being diagnosed with a fatigue disorder. Prior to that he hit 180 in Australia's last Test against Sri Lanka in February and found form on his return with a century for Australia A against Sussex in July.

Marnus Labuschagne (25, 5)

If Australia are looking for a batsman with form in English conditions, they need look no further than Labuschagne. He was the first man to reach 1,000 runs in the County Championship with Glamorgan - albeit in Division Two. Yet to fully convince in his five Tests, but could provide cover for Khawaja.

Kurtis Patterson (26, 2)

The man in possession of the number six spot, Patterson scored an unbeaten century against Sri Lanka in just his second Test. He would therefore be very unlucky to miss out at Edgbaston, but poor form on Australia A's tour of England may tip the scales in favour of the likes of Wade.

Pat Cummins (26, 20)

The number one-ranked Test bowler in the world, boasting an exceptional average of 22.02 from his 20 matches. Cummins offers real pace and England's top order will need to be on their guard.

Mitchell Starc (29, 51)

Starc is in peak form after an astonishing World Cup campaign which saw him break compatriot Glenn McGrath's record of most wickets in a tournament, taking 27 scalps. With pace, swing and a searing yorker, the left-armer is a potent weapon. Injuries, as always, will be his main worry.

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc

Josh Hazlewood (28, 44)

The Mr. Consistent of Australia's bowling attack, Hazlewood has been a key figure in their unit for a number of years. A back injury ruled him out of the Sri Lanka series, while he was left out of the World Cup to focus on being fit for the Ashes. Nagging accuracy is his strength and he bowled well in England four years ago, taking 16 wickets from his four matches.

Nathan Lyon (31, 86)

Transformed his game over the last few years to become one of the most attacking and successful spinners in the world. Needs 13 wickets to overtake Dennis Lillee and move third on the all-time Test wicket-taking list for Australia. Lyon bowls brilliantly at left-handers and is a crucial man for the tourists.

Jhye Richardson (22, 2)

A non-playing member of the World Cup squad, Richardson could challenge Hazlewood for a spot in the starting line-up. Made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in February, impressing with an ability to swing the ball at high speed with his skiddy action - attributes that could serve him well in English conditions.

James Pattinson (29, 17)

Over three years on from his last Test appearance, there are calls for Pattinson to make a return. His career has been ravaged by injury, stalling an impressive start with 70 wickets in 17 Tests. Match figures of seven for 77 against Sussex in early July hinted at a return to top form, and the rapid right-armer could force his way into Australia's thinking.

Ashes series dates

  • First Test (Aug 1-5)
    Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham
  • Second Test (Aug 14-18)
    Venue: Lord's, London,
  • Third Test (Aug 22-26)
    Venue: Headingley, Leeds
  • Fourth Test (Sept 4-8)
    Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Fifth Test (Sept 12-16)
    Venue: The Oval, London

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