Australia win the toss and opt to bowl first against England in fifth Ashes Test
Australian captain Tim Paine won the toss and chose to bowl first in the fifth and final Ashes Test between Australia and England at Oval. Australia pursues their first series win in England since 2001. Australia won at Old Trafford last week to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series, meaning they will keep the ballot box regardless of the result in London.
But Paine said his side was “very hungry” to complete the job.
To have any chance of leveling the series, the winners of the World Cup, England, will have to find a way to solve the riddle of the immovable Steve Smith, who has scored 671 runs in just five innings with a surprising average of more than 134.
Multifaceted Mitchell Marsh and sailor Peter Siddle were brought in for tourists, with batsman Travis Head and pacemaker Mitchell Starc getting lost.
For England, Ben Stokes is playing as a specialist hitter due to a shoulder injury. Multifaceted Sam Curran and Chris Woakes replace Jason Roy and Craig Overton.
“It’s a little cloudy,” Paine said. “If there was the sun, we would have had a bat, but there’s grass on the field, and we hope to take advantage of it.”
England captain Joe Root said he would have chosen to bat.
“It looks a good wicket, ” he said. “There’s live grass, so it might move a little at first, but underneath it’s dry. We can’t get the ashes back this week, but we can draw the series.
“There are a lot of incentives there, and we’ll do everything we can to win this game.”
Squad for Fifth Ashes
England: Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Joe Root (capt), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow.
Australia: Tim Paine (capt, wk), Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh.
Referees: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI), Marais Erasmus (RSA)
TV Referee: (SRI) Ruchira Palliyaguruge
Match Referee: (IND) Javagal Srinath