Sydney, July 7: New England opener Joe Root will reportedly become the No.1 target for Australian bowlers when the Ashes Test series starts on Wednesday as he has never opened the batting in Test cricket before.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, England selected a 13-man squad for the first Test at Trent Bridge, with Root, who managed 41 and 26 in England's practice match against Essex at Chelmsford, to form a new opening partnership with captain Alastair Cook.
Although the Australians regret Root getting punched by David Warner in a Birmingham nightclub last month, the report said that they will go after him as he is inexperienced at the top order in an Ashes series, with just six Tests to his name, despite being a regular opener with Yorkshire and making a good start to his international career in the middle.
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Although Cook has been identified as the key wicket for Australia, the report further said that at the expense of the dropped Nick Compton, Root will be facing the music from a fired-up Australian attack, likely to be led by James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc
Unlike Australia, who will not settle their XI until game day, England offers no surprises for the first Test and is aiming for a third straight Ashes series win for the first time since the 1950s, the report added.
England 13-man squad for first Test against Australia: Cook (capt), Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Graham Onions.