England’s first batch arrives in Australia for the Ashes

Players head to Gold Coast for 14-day quarantine

Joe Root and Ben Stokes led the first batch of England’s cricketers to land in Brisbane on Saturday ahead of the five-Test Ashes series against Australia.

The squad, still to be joined by members of the Twenty20 World Cup side, walked through the terminal and into a waiting bus bound for 14 days’ quarantine on the Gold Coast.

Acclimatisation

The early arrival gives the team a month to acclimatise to the Australian summer before the first Test starts on December 8. Also among the arrivals was opening batsman Rory Burns, fast-bowler Jimmy Anderson and stalwart Stuart Broad.

Although the team will be under strict quarantine, Cricket Australia confirmed players would be allowed to train at the Metricon Stadium throughout their isolation period.

The talismanic Stokes, who has not played any cricket since July because of a finger injury and mental health issues, was only added to the 17-man squad last month.

Stokes made his Ashes debut in 2013-14, scoring a maiden Test century in tough batting conditions in Perth but failing to prevent a 5-0 whitewash. But captain Root said India’s 2-1 series win in Australia earlier this year had given his team confidence.

“One thing I think we can take a lot of heart and confidence from is the way India went and played there in their (Australia’s) last home series,” Root told a conference call on Tuesday.

“They took them on in their own way, they played to their strengths, but they didn’t take a backward step at any stage,” Root said.

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