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Sam Curran to make Ashes debut at The Oval as England name XI

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Sam Curran has been brought into the England playing XI for the final Ashes Test of the summer as one of two England changes as they vie to level the series 2-2 at The Oval from Thursday.

The younger Curran brother, who starred in England’s 4-1 series victory over India in 2018, is yet to make an appearance in this year’s Ashes, with the urn already set to return to Australia. The 21-year old all-rounder comes back into the side at the expense of Jason Roy who has endured a difficult series with the bat. Roy, who started the series as an opener but has since been moved down to No.4, averaged 13.75 after the first four Tests of the series.

Elsewhere, Chris Woakes returns to the side at the expense of Craig Overton, who claimed match figures of 2-107 in England’s Old Trafford defeat.

Meanwhile, Australia named a squad of 12 on the eve of the game that hinted at at least one possible change to their XI. Travis Head, middle-order batsman and co vice-captain, has been left out of the squad at the expense of all-rounder Mitch Marsh. Ahead of the game, skipper Tim Paine reasoned that his bowlers could do with extra support at the end of a long summer of international cricket.

“They’ve bowled a lot of overs and we feel that bringing Mitchell in will ease a little bit of the workload on them,” said Paine. “It was a really tough call on Travis Head, who’s had a great start to his Test career but we wanted a bit more bowling depth in the squad to cover what looks like a really good wicket and to be able to look after our big fast bowlers.

“Mitchell Marsh has also had a couple of hundreds in Test cricket, so we’ve got full faith in him doing the job with the bat as well.”

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