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  • Overton replaces Woakes in England side for Old Trafford Test

    first_imgENGLAND captain Joe Root expects Craig Overton to show “character and fight” when he replaces Chris Woakes for the fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Old Trafford today.Seamer Overton was called up as a replacement for James Anderson, who is out of the series with a calf injury.He made his Test debut in the 2017-18 Ashes series in Australia and dismissed Steve Smith for his first Test wicket.“Craig looked a real threat in Australia,” Root said.He told Test Match Special: “He did fantastically well there, showed a great amount of character and fight and he’s a real competitor so I expect exactly the same this week.”The five-match series is tied at 1-1 with two Tests remaining, following England’s astonishing one-wicket victory at Headingley.Somerset bowler Overton, 25, has taken seven wickets at an average of 42.28 in three Tests with his most recent appearance in the defeat by New Zealand in Auckland in March 2018.Root said England felt Overton, at 6ft 5in, would be more likely to “exploit the conditions” in Manchester and extract that “extra bit of bounce” from the surface.All-rounder Woakes has taken nine wickets in the three Ashes Tests in the series and scored 112 runs in five innings, having also played every match of England’s victorious World Cup campaign.“It’s hard for Chris to take, he’s been a proven performer for us throughout the summer,” said Root.“I don’t see it as him being dropped – it’s about trying to find the best way of taking 20 wickets.“Craig made things happen on unresponsive surfaces in Australia so we feel he could be a real handful.” ‘WE DON’T WANT TO PLAY CATCH-UP AGAIN’England have changed their batting order for the fourth Test, having been dismissed for just 67 in the first innings at Headingley before Ben Stokes’ stunning 135 not out saw them chase 359 to win.Joe Denly will open alongside Rory Burns, while Jason Roy moves down to four, where he has more regularly batted for Surrey.“We’re still trying to find out best formula in the top order, but we feel like we’ve got the right players in so it’s just reshuffling the pack,” said Root.“It’s a good opportunity for Joe to hopefully get in and make a big contribution at the top, while Jason will hopefully show everyone what a world class player he is, as he has done in one-day cricket.”Australia will retain the Ashes with victory at Old Trafford and Root said his side were determined to make the win at Headingley “part of a special series” and “not just a one-off match”.“It’s a great incentive for the group to carry that feeling forward and transfer it into a performance,” he said.“It’s about doing it in the first innings here, making sure that we get ahead of the game and are not playing catch-up.” PAINE ‘LOSING SLEEP’ OVER GETTING STOKES OUTAustralia captain Tim Paine has not named his team, with the tourists set to decide between Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc for the final spot in the pace attack.Marnus Labuschagne will bat at three in place of the omitted Usman Khawaja, with Steve Smith returning to four after he missed the third Test because of concussion.Paine admitted he made mistakes with his field placings as Stokes and Jack Leach put on a 76-run 10th-wicket stand at Leeds but said he “hasn’t lost a hell of a lot of sleep” about his position as captain.However, he said he “has lost a bit of sleep” thinking about how to dismiss all-rounder Stokes, who is averaging 81.75 in the series.“He’s a class player and he’s really confident at the moment – we’ve got some plans for him but we’ve just got to execute them better,” said Paine.“Nathan Lyon has actually bowled really well to him, he’s created a number of chances and we’ve let Nathan down a bit with our fielding.”Paine added that he expects Smith, who has regained the number one spot in the ICC Test batting rankings, to be unaffected by missing the last Test after he was struck in the neck by Jofra Archer at Lord’s.England XI for fourth Test: Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Joe Root (capt.), Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wkp.), Jos Buttler, Craig Overton, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach. (BBC Sport)last_img read more

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