David Warner survives early scares as 2019 Ashes series gets under way
David Warner survived two early scares as he and Cameron Bancroft opened Australia’s 2019 Ashes series at Edgbaston.
The pair, who along with Steve Smith were banned for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal in 2018, were met by boos from the crowd before Warner narrowly escaped being out to Stuart Broad’s opening ball of the second over.
Replays showed that Warner struck the ball with his bat and it carried behind to England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow when he was on nought, but England chose not to review.
England then did choose to review an lbw appeal against Warner in the fourth over but replays showed the ball was missing the stumps.
Australia captain Tim Paine earlier won the toss and elected to bat, giving two of the ‘sandpapergate’ trio an early meeting with the England fans as they each returned to the Test arena for the first time since their bans.
Bancroft is making his first international appearance since then, while Warner and Smith played in this summer’s World Cup in England.
England skipper Joe Root was not disheartened to have lost the toss in Birmingham
He said: “I’m not disappointed at all. It’s good, overcast conditions, a little bit tacky so there might be a little bit there there for us. Hopefully we can exploit that. We’ve got a very strong bowling unit in these conditions.”
Australia named 34-year-old seamer Peter Siddle in their team, with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who shared the new ball for Australia during the last Ashes series, both sitting out.
Paine said: “The wicket looks nice and hard and dry. Hopefully we can post a good total in the first innings and we’ve got Nathan Lyon up our sleeve at the back end of the game.”
England are looking to regain the urn by completing a fifth straight Ashes series success on home soil.