Woakes injured, Crane to make debut
Twenty-year-old leg-spinner set to play first Test match as England name XI for fifth Test in Sydney
Sam Ferris in Sydney
3 January 2018, 01:05 PM AEST
Leg-spinner Mason Crane will make his Test debut in the final Magellan Ashes Test, England skipper Joe Root confirmed today.
Crane comes in for injured paceman Chris Woakes, who has been ruled out with a side strain.
The 20-year-old is no stranger to the SCG having made his JLT Sheffield Shield debut for NSW Blues last summer.
"On this surface he's going to be a really good option," Joe Root said. "It looks like it should give a bit of turn throughout.
"The way he's conducted himself throughout the whole trip has been outstanding."
England coach Trevor Bayliss said yesterday the leggie could handle the rigours of Test cricket if chosen.
"There's maybe no time like the present to find out," Bayliss said.
"We think he's a guy that has got the goods, and the more he plays at this level the better he will get.
"You've got to start somewhere."
The injury to Woakes also means another opportunity for Moeen Ali, England's under-fire allrounder who has struggled for runs and wickets throughout this Ashes campaign.
Woakes suffered a side strain in the Champions Trophy in June, the same side he hurt last week, and was ruled out for nearly three months.
England captain Joe Root said no risks were taken with Woakes' fitness with one-dayers and T20Is still to be played in Australia before the tourists head east to play New Zealand next month.
"I think more than anything it’s about making sure he’s not out for a significant period of time like he was throughout the summer," Root said.
"He’s an integral part of both the white-ball and Test team and it’s important he doesn’t have another setback like he did throughout the summer.
"For us as a team moving forward he’s going to miss this week.
"It gives a great opportunity for Mason to come in and make his debut."
Australia lead the series 3-0 after victories in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth before a drawn match in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
ENGLAND XI: Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Joe Root (c), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Moeen Ali, Tom Curran, Stuart Broad, Mason Crane, James Anderson.
2017-18 International Fixtures
Magellan Ashes Series
Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Ashton Agar.
England Test squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson (vc), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.
First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard
Second Test Australia won by 120 runs (Day-Night). Scorecard
Third Test Australia won by an innings and 41 runs. Scorecard
Fourth Test MCG, drawn. Scorecard
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Prime Minister's XI
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