England captain Joe Root chose to keep his likely playing 11 under wraps and was guarded on his intentions if he wins the toss when he spoke for the last time before the first Ashes cricket test against Australia.
Root addressed media before news broke that the fifth test of the series will now not go ahead in Perth because of concern over quarantine requirements.
Australian captain Pat Cummins took the bold step on Sunday of confirming his match lineup, three days before the series begins at Brisbane’s Gabba ground.
Cummins revealed that Travis Head had edged Usman Khawaja for the final place in Australia’s top order and that veteran paceman Mitchell Starc will play ahead of Jhye Richardson.
Root skirted issues around the makeup of his batting and bowling lineups. He chose not to discuss whether Haseeb Hameed might retain his place in England’s top three or whether Jonny Bairstow or Ollie Pope might bat at No. 6. Nor did he address the question of whether veteran quicks James Anderson and Stuart Broad both might play.
Root denied he was indulging in “mind games” in delaying his team announcement in the face of Australia’s clarity.
“I’m not into mind games,” Root said. “I’m just not in a position right now to name our team.
“The fact they’ve named their 11 doesn’t really concern me or change anything from our perspective. We’ll conduct our business how we want to and let you know when we’re ready.”