Ashes: Australia plan to 'open a few England scars' in first Test in Brisbane

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport in Brisbane
Josh Hazlewood
Hazlewood took 16 wickets in four matches in the 2015 Ashes series in England
Australia v England, first Ashes Test
Date: 23-27 November Time: 00:00 GMT Venue: Gabba, Brisbane
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and the BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app. Full coverage

Australia will look to "open up a few scars" when the Ashes series against England gets under way in Brisbane on Thursday, says Josh Hazlewood.

England hold the Ashes after a 3-2 home win in 2015, but were whitewashed 5-0 on their last visit to Australia.

In that 2013-14 series, Mitchell Johnson took 37 wickets to destroy England's batting line-up.

Australia seamer Hazlewood said: "We have guys who played in that series who will remind England what happened."

On that last tour, current England captain Joe Root was dropped for the final Test in Sydney after averaging 27 with the bat.

"We'll certainly bring that up," said 26-year-old Hazlewood. "He's a different player to then, he's been fantastic player for the past couple of years.

"But we'll obviously bring that up and hope to open up a few scars of the guys that did tour here last time."

Hazlewood will be part of a three-man pace attack alongside Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, both of whom are capable of bowling well in excess of 90mph.

However, while Hazlewood suggested that Australia would like to intimidate England fast bowler Jake Ball said there is no "fear factor" amongst the touring batsmen.

"All the batters have dealt with 90mph before and they will deal with it again," said the Nottinghamshire player.

"They can talk it up, talk about their pace, but it's nothing that we haven't faced before. We'll look to put the pressure back on them."

Ball fitness gives England choices

Jake Ball
Ball has played three Tests for England, all in 2016, taking two wickets

Ball says he is fit and "100% confident" he could get through all five days of the first Ashes Test.

The 26-year-old sprained an ankle in the second warm-up match in Adelaide and missed the next game in Townsville.

"From the second I did it, we had a plan to be fit for the first Test and everything has gone to plan," he said.

"The last couple of days in Townsville went well. I'm in a really good place."

On the final day of England's drawn match against a Cricket Australia XI, Ball bowled 17 overs in the nets and spent some time fielding.

He will compete with uncapped Somerset seamer Craig Overton for the final place in the England team for the first Test against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane.

"You dream about playing in Ashes series. To be here and have a chance of playing is amazing," the Nottinghamshire man told BBC Sport.

"If I do get the nod I'll go out there and give 100%. On the flip side, if Craig is picked, then I'll give him all my backing and hopefully he'll do well."

England XI for first Test

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