ADELAIDE (Reuters) - England captain Joe Root won the toss and gambled on bowling first under ashen skies at the Adelaide Oval in the first day-night Ashes test against Australia on Saturday.
England, who handed a debut to seamer Craig Overton in place of Jake Ball in an otherwise unchanged side, will be hoping to take advantage of any ball movement as they look to get back on terms after a 10-wicket defeat in the series opener on Monday.
“I think with the overhead conditions that are around in the course of today, a fresh wicket, the pink ball, will give us a great opportunity to take 10 wickets,” Root said.
“Craig Overton comes in for Jake Ball. He’s been impressive on the way he has done things and it’s a great opportunity for him.”
Root said all-rounder Moeen Ali had “come up well” despite concerns about an injured finger and would both bowl and bat in the match.
Australia captain Steve Smith said he would have sent his unchanged side into bat had he won the toss.
“It looks like a good wicket,” he said. “A lot different to what we have seen before. The new ball might do a bit but hopefully we can cash in.”
The Adelaide Oval, once a batsman’s paradise, has become more and more bowler friendly since drop-in wickets were introduced five years ago.
With the potential for the pink ball to swing under the lights, which would suit the bowling of England’s pace spearheads James Anderson and Stuart Broad, the second test has long been identified as England’s best hope for a victory.
England hold the Ashes after their 3-2 series victory on home soil in 2015.
Australia - Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
England - Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Joe Root (captain), Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Craig Overton, James Anderson.
Editing by Peter Rutherford