England’s opening Ashes Test vs Australia in danger of being entirely washed out

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After preparations were hit by rain, England’s first Ashes Test in Brisbane also looks in danger of being washed out with heavy storms forecast during the first four days at The Gabba

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The opening Test of the Ashes looks in serious danger of being washed out with adverse weather forecast over the first four days.

England’s preparations have been ruined by rain, with only 29 overs of play possible in their three-day game with their Lions side in Queensland last week.

Then on Tuesday and Wednesday, no play was possible over the first two days of their intra-squad warm-up match as heavy storms again hit Brisbane, with the La Nina weather pattern causing havoc in the city.

It has left Joe Root’s side desperately short of match practice ahead of their first clash with Australia at The Gabba on December 8, although if the early forecasts prove correct, they could endure another frustrating time then too.







Joe Root looks on during an England Ashes Squad nets session at The Gabba
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Image:

Chris Hyde/Getty Images)


More torrential rain is scheduled for the East Coast over the course of the Test match, prompting fears the two sides could be heading to Adelaide for the second Test on December 16 desperately undercooked.

It will also mean a distinct lack of playing time for Ben Stokes, who was a late call-up to the party after taking an extended break from cricket to sort out an ongoing finger injury and address mental health issues.

However, it could be argued that a washout in Brisbane would favour the tourists, who have a woeful record at the venue having not won there since 1986 when Ian Botham’s knock of 138 inspired Mike Gatting’s side to a three-wicket win.

There was also a memorable draw in 2010, when Alastair Cook’s innings of 235 not out steered England away from trouble and to a mammoth score of 517-1 before Andrew Strauss eventually declared. England would go on to record a 3-1 series win, their only Ashes success down under this century.







Root leads his team from the field after Australia won at the Gabba in 2017
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Image:

Getty)


It is Australia who has tended to dominate the traditional opener on home soil though, recording comprehensive wins in 2002, 2006, 2013, and most recently in 2017.

The home side have also seen their build-up disrupted though, after triumphing in last month’s T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman.

Tim Paine, who took over the captaincy in 2018 when Steve Smith stepped down in disgrace following allegations of ball-tampering, announced he would not be leading the side after a lewd text message exchange with a female colleague from 2017 was made public.

After initially stating his intention to still be available as a player, Paine later confirmed he would be taking a complete break from cricket and would not be involved in the Ashes.

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