The Ashes: England player guides including Joe Root and Ben Stokes

Joe Root
Joe Root

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

Rory Burns (Age 28, Tests 6)

Called into the England squad after Alastair Cook's retirement left a gap at the top of the order, the Surrey opener has yet to make the position his own. Burns earned his selection on the back of his excellent county form in recent seasons and averages more than 42 in first-class cricket.

Jason Roy (28, 0)

A central figure in England's limited-overs squad, Roy has been tipped for an Ashes call-up and could benefit from the selector's struggles to find a strong opening partnership. The explosive Surrey batsman has a first-class average of over 35, although he has not played a red-ball game this year.

Joe Denly (33, 2)

Since being dropped from the World Cup squad at the final selection, Denly has scored two centuries and one 50 for Kent in the County Championship, to put himself back in the frame for the longer format. The batting all-rounder has yet to show his best for England.

Joe Denly
Joe Denly

Joe Root (28, 80)

England's captain and one of their most important batsmen, Root is regularly thought of as one of the top batsmen in the world alongside the likes Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson. The Yorkshireman averages nearly 50 in Test matches with 41 fifties and 16 centuries to his name.

Ben Stokes (28, 52)

England's star of the World Cup final, Stokes' value to the England squad cannot be underestimated. After missing out against Australia in the last Ashes, the all-rounder will be determined to make his mark in this series and is assured of his place in the middle order.

Jos Buttler (28, 31)

Once thought of as a white-ball specialist, Buttler has brought his range of shots from the shorter format and turned himself into a useful lower-middle order batsman. He has scored five half-centuries and one century since a surprise Test recall at the start of the 2018 summer.

Jonny Bairstow (29, 63)

One of England's mainstays in the middle order in recent series, Bairstow has impressed for England in all three formats over the past few years. The Yorkshireman also retained the gloves against West Indies but that may change if he is pushed up the batting order against Australia.

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow

Moeen Ali (32, 58)

Used by England across all formats, the all-rounder is expected to be England's main spin option against Australia but a disappointing World Cup - where he was dropped for the latter stages - has put his place under pressure. Moeen can also contribute useful runs in the lower order and scored two half-centuries last year against the West Indies and India.

Chris Woakes (30, 26)

Woakes has established himself in the 50-over game, becoming one of England's most reliable bowlers at the death and has an average of just over 32 with the ball in Test matches. He also has one Test century and four fifties to his name since his debut in 2013. A stronger performer in English conditions, Woakes is likely to be a key member of the bowling unit.

Stuart Broad (33, 126)

Having enjoyed one of the best spells of his career in the Ashes in 2015, taking eight for 15, England's second-highest Test wicket-taker of all time - behind new-ball partner Anderson - is a tough man to leave out. But Broad was dropped for Tests in Sri Lanka and the West Indies over the winter and his place could come under threat.

Jofra Archer (24, 0)

Archer just qualified for England ahead of the World Cup and went on to make his mark on the international stage, taking 20 wickets at the tournament. With the ability to bowl over 90mph regularly, the Barbadian-born fast-bowler could cause problems for the Australians, although he picked up a side strain in the World Cup and could be sidelined for the start of the series.

Jofra Archer celebrates for England
Jofra Archer celebrates for England

James Anderson (36, 148)

Anderson has taken 575 Test wickets so far in his career and has shown no signs of slowing down, even at the age of 36. With his ability to swing the ball, especially in English conditions, the Lancashire bowler is crucial to England's hopes.

Sam Curran (21, 9)

Awarded man-of-the-match in just his second Test match after making his debut aged just 19, Curran was one of England's key players against India last summer. The youngster also proved his ability with the bat and would offer a left-handed option in England's bowling attack. A return to form with the England Lions against Australia A was very timely for the Surrey youngster.

Jack Leach (28, 4)

The Somerset left-arm spinner made his England debut against New Zealand in 2018 but a broken thumb limited his opportunities before he returned for the tour of Sri Lanka last winter. England could be persuaded by his reliability, with a first-class bowling average of just over 25, and he could be the main threat to Moeen's place.

Mark Wood (29, 13)

One of England's fastest bowlers, Wood has hit over 94mph with the ball on a number of occasions. After making his Test debut in 2015, the Durham fast-bowler has only made a handful of appearances, and picked up an injury at the World Cup with an expected recovery time of four to six weeks. England will hope he is fit to play some part in the series.

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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