Ashes Test England bat first in opening Ashes Test

England opted to bat first in the opening Ashes Test at Cardiff, on a day when both teams sprung no surprises in terms of selection.

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Alastair Cook won the toss and chose to bat first in the opening Ashes Test at Cardiff, as both England and Australia named predictable line-ups.

Touring captain Michael Clarke had suggested earlier this week that Australia were considering fielding an all-seam attack, with Peter Siddle playing at the expense of Nathan Lyon.

Yet off-spinner Lyon retained his place and both Chris Rogers and Shane Watson were preferred, as anticipated, to Shaun and Mitchell Marsh.

There were also no surprises in the England line-up, with Moeen Ali selected ahead of fellow spin option Adil Rashid, and Steven Finn the pace bowler to miss out.

After calling incorrectly and being invited to field, Clarke said: "I'd have batted as well, [but] hopefully it swings around for us a bit this morning.

"The selectors have stuck with the older guys, the guys who have the experience here."

The start of play was subsequently delayed due to rain.

Australia come into the series as favourites having subjected England to a 5-0 whitewash 18 months ago, although the hosts' recent performances against New Zealand have provided cause for optimism.

England: Alastair Cook (captain), Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson.

Australia: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Steve Smith, Michael Clarke (captain), Adam Voges, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon.

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