LONDON: England included the uncapped duo of Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes and Lancashire left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan in a 14-man squad announced yesterday for next week’s fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval.
Woakes, already a one-day international, was brought in after pace bowling all-rounder Tim Bresnan, who starred with bat and ball in England’s 74-run fourth Test win at Chester-le-Street concluded Monday, was ruled out for the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his lower back.
Meanwhile, with pitches at The Oval renowned for taking turn, Kerrigan was added to give England -- who’ve now won three successive Test series against Australia for the first time since the 1950s -- an extra spin option in addition to off-break bowler Graeme Swann.
England also gave themselves additional fast bowling choices by including Chris Tremlett, who if selected will be playing on his Surrey home ground in south London, and Middlesex’s Steven Finn, dropped after the 14-run first Test win over Australia at Trent Bridge.
“The inclusion of five pace bowlers as well as an additional spinner in Simon Kerrigan, who has impressed with Lancashire and England Lions in recent years, gives (coach) Andy Flower and (captain) Alastair Cook plenty of options once they have assessed the conditions at the Kia Oval,” said England national selector Geoff Miller in an England and Wales Cricket Board statement.
Meanwhile Miller also said he hoped Bresnan would be fit for the return Ashes series in Australia starting in November.
“Tim Bresnan has made valuable contributions with both bat and ball during the series and I would like to wish him all the very best in his recovery from his back injury,” said Miller.
“The focus for Bresnan now will be the tour of Australia later this year, while this Test will provide an opportunity for another member of this squad to make equally vital contributions,” Miller added yesterday. AFP