MELBOURNE: Young paceman Tom Curran will make his Test debut in England’s only change for the fourth Ashes Test against Australia starting in Melbourne on Tuesday.
The Surrey 22-year-old fast bowler replaces injured Craig Overton, who succumbed to a rib injury when the tourists relinquished the Ashes to the Australians in last week’s third Perth Test.
Curran has played three Twenty20s and an ODI and was not originally chosen in England’s Ashes touring squad.
But he got his chance when Steve Finn left the tour early with knee cartilage problems and now has a Test opportunity following Overton’s injury setback.
Captain Joe Root said he was backing Curran to make the most of his opportunity in the showpiece Boxing Day Test before huge crowds.
“Tom offers a lot and is a real competitor,” Root told reporters when announcing the team on Monday.
“He has that real sort of work ethic and the way he goes about things is very similar to Craig [Overton] actually.
“The way he gets involved in the contest and you know he is going to get involved in absolutely everything. He’s also very skilful and hopefully he can have a really good week here.”
Curran won the Test nod ahead of Mark Wood and Jake Ball.
Wood is nearing full fitness after touring with the England Lions, while Ball struggled in his only Test appearance on tour in Brisbane.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Root said. “We certainly had a little while thinking about it on this surface and these conditions. For the balance of this team I think Tom is the best option.”
courtesy Dawn, December 26th, 2017