England and Australia will face off in the first Test of the five-match Ashes series in Birmingham from Thursday. The game will be the beginning of the first-ever International Cricket Council (ICC) World Test Championship which will be played over the course of the next 24 months.
Edgbaston in Birmingham will be used as the venue for the contest, which will be hosting its 52nd Test from Thursday. Highest team score at the ground in a five-day contest of 710-7 was registered by England in the match against India in 2011 whereas lowest total of 30 was registered by South Africa while playing against the home side in 1924. Highest individual score of 294 was registered by England's Alastair Cook in 2011 whereas best bowling figures in an innings of 7-17 was registered by England's Wilfred Rhodes in 1902.
The home side will enter the game relatively high on confidence as they are coming on the back of an impressive win against Ireland side in the hard-fought match recently. In the batting department, the team will be relying on the likes of captain Joe Root, all-rounder Ben Stokes and wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow to score the bulk of the runs, whereas on the bowling front, the onus will be on the likes of pacers Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad and Sam Curran to produce timely breakthroughs. It will be interesting to see whether fast-bowler Jofra Archer will going to get his debut in the five-day format.
On the other hand,