Birmingham - Australia captain Michael Clarke won the toss and elected to
bat against England in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
Clarke decided to bat despite overcast conditions and a grass covering on
the pitch which suggested the potential for more seam movement than in the
first two Tests.
England made two changes from the side that lost the second Test at Lord's
by a huge margin of 405 runs, a result that saw Australia level the five-match
series at 1-1.
They recalled Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn for his first Test
appearance since 2013 after Durham's Mark Wood, who featured in the first two Tests,
appeared to be hampered by a long-standing ankle problem at Lord's.
The 26-year-old Finn last played a Test in the opening match of the 2013
Ashes series in England and was then sent home early from the team's ensuing
5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia in 2013/14 after problems with his action saw
him deemed "unselectable".
Meanwhile Jonny Bairstow was brought back for his first Test since facing
Australia at Sydney last year after England dropped his fellow Yorkshire
batsman Gary Ballance.
Bairstow, averaging more than 108 for county champions Yorkshire this
season, was due to bat at number five with Ian Bell promoted to take Ballance's
place at number three.
The son of former England wicket-keeper David Bairstow, Jonnny has a Test
average of 26.95 and has yet to make a hundred at this level.
For the first time in 11 years, England's Test team did not include a single
However, there was still one foreign-born player in the side in all-rounder
Ben Stokes, the son of former Kiwi rugby league international Ged Stokes, born
in Christchurch but brought up in Cumbria.
Australia were unchanged after opener Chris Rogers, who made a Test-best 173
at Lord's, was passed fit following a dizzy spell which forced him off the
field on the fourth and final day.
Peter Nevill, who made his international debut at Lord's, retained his
position as wicketkeeper after Australia decided against recalling the
experienced Brad Haddin, who missed the second Test for "family
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Adam Lyth, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wkt), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, James Anderson
Australia: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Steven Smith, Michael Clarke (captain), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wkt), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon
Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK), Chris Gaffaney (NZL)
TV umpire: Marais Erasmus (RSA)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)
Weather: Top temperature of 16 degrees Celsius, cloudy and with a slight chance of rain.
Pitch conditions: Modest grass covering could lead to a surface with more sideways movement.