England have named an unchanged 13-man squad for the final Ashes Test match of the summer, which starts on Thursday at The Oval.
Australia, who retained the urn after clinching a 185-run defeat in the fourth Test at Old Trafford on Sunday, now lead the series 2-1. Australia will bid to clinch their first Ashes series victory in England since 2001 this week.
England captain Joe Root criticised his “inexperienced” side after the disappointing defeat in Manchester, but insists that he’s still the right man to lead the team, with his captaincy credentials having been questioned by some leading pundits in recent days.
“Bowling at Steve Smith in his form is difficult, and you have to make sure you take all your chances.”
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 9, 2019
England are expected to stick with in-form 33-year-old pacer Stuart Broad, even though, among fast bowlers, only he and Australia quick Pat Cummins have featured in all four Ashes Tests.
Ben Stokes, meanwhile, is struggling with a shoulder injury, but is expected to play as a specialist batsman at the very least. If he is not a bowling option, Chris Woakes, who was replaced by Craig Overton at Old Trafford after a gruelling summer of cricket, or Surrey all-rounder Sam Curran could earn a recall.
While England’s under-performing batting line-up is set for a reprieve, several of them will be playing for their red-ball international futures ahead of England’s tour of New Zealand in November.
The Oval Test will mark England’s final match with head coach Trevor Bayliss at the helm.
England squad for fourth Ashes Test at The Oval: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow,
Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Jason Roy,
Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.