James Anderson "put his heart and soul" into recovering from the calf injury that ultimately dashed his Ashes dreams, earning the sympathy of Stuart Broad.

England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker was ruled out of the Old Trafford and Oval Tests after suffering a recurrence of his calf problem during the opening clash with Australia at Edgbaston.

The 575-wicket paceman featured for Lancashire's second XI in a bid to prove his fitness but came up short and the 37-year-old looks set to have bowled his last ball in Ashes action.

"He's obviously very disappointed, he's put his heart and soul into getting back to full fitness," said Broad ahead of the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

"It was early June when he hurt his calf initially, he got back fit for the first game and that didn't quite work out how he wanted.

"He's done everything he possibly could. I've seen him running, bowling – he's bowled 20 overs in a day.

"He's frustrated, he's going to have a period of time of ifs and buts, what if he'd done this or what if he'd done that.

"But it's important for him to have a bit of a break now and look forward to future challenges."

Broad had envisaged a very different outcome for Anderson in this series, but he insisted his team-mate has a lot of cricket left in him.

"I had in my mind that it was almost written in the stars that he'd come back and bowl from the James Anderson end and bowl us to victory," added Broad.

"That's not going to happen, but he's got a lot of cricket left in him and he'll be desperate to get that calf right, because it's a long-winded calf injury, two or three months' worth of calf niggle and he'll want to get rid of that."

Justin Langer is relishing the prospect of seeing Australia talisman Steve Smith back to his best in the fourth Ashes Test.

Former captain Smith missed the series-levelling one-wicket loss at Headingley after a bout of concussion sustained when a short delivery from Jofra Archer struck his neck during the second Test at Lord's.

Australia coach Langer has confirmed Smith, who remains the series' leading run-scorer, would return to the side for this week's crunch clash at Old Trafford, where he hopes to see the 30-year-old quickly find his groove.

Asked at a news conference on Monday if Smith had recovered his rhythm, despite scoring only 23 in a tour match against Derbyshire, Langer said: "I hope so.

"I've just thrown to him for about half an hour and he's moving really well.

"We're all hopeful that he gets back into the zone and hits the ball in the middle of the bat. He's shown that throughout the summer.

"The whole time he's been here he's been batting well so let's hope he can continue that. It's important for our team.

"It's just nice knowing that he's back in the team."

Smith's comeback will mean a change to the tourists' top order, but replacement Marnus Labuschagne's contribution of three half-centuries should see him retained.

That would leave one of Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja or Matthew Wade in danger of being dropped for the match in Manchester, which gets under way on Wednesday.

Stuart Broad believes England's dramatic victory at Headingley has shifted momentum away from Australia, even though talisman Steve Smith will return for the fourth Ashes Test.

Ben Stokes' unbeaten 135 inspired England to a one-wicket win in Leeds, keeping the series alive heading into the remaining two matches.

Australia will, however, be able to welcome the series' top run scorer Smith back into the fold at Old Trafford after the batsman missed the third Test due to concussion protocol after being hit on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer.

Broad is confident, nevertheless, that momentum has turned in England's favour due to the manner of their dramatic win in the last Test.

"Australia would have felt 99 per cent sure they were retaining the Ashes, with 73 runs needed at Headingley," Broad told a news conference.

"Stokesy and [Jack] Leach's partnership was one of the greatest partnerships English cricket has ever seen. Australia had a really poor hour, they'll reflect on that and I think they got quite a few things wrong.

"So that Test match shifted and with that, the series. We'll come here enjoying what happened last week while knowing that it's gone, but also not forgetting because we can take a lot of energy, spirit from the way we stayed in that Test throughout.

"Yes, we had a terrible first innings batting [making 67 all out], but to keep in the game, keep going and the mindset we did that with.

"I can genuinely say we never felt out of the game, never felt out of the battle and the language was always positive, and that's exactly the mindset we need at Old Trafford.

"We're going to get the same level of support that we did at Headingley, we know the atmosphere will be brilliant here. We know we're going to turn up with a crowd fully behind us and that sort of momentum can certainly drag us through."

Smith's replacement Marnus Labuschagne has proved an equally frustrating opponent for England, with the 25-year-old already the fourth-highest run scorer in the series with 213 from three innings.

Labuschagne appears likely to retain his place even with the return of former Australia captain Smith, who Broad knows has the quality to swiftly shrug off any rustiness.

"We've not bowled at him since Lord's, he's had a period of time without batting in the middle which is a bonus for us," Broad added.

"When a batsman looks in great rhythm then a period of time out of the middle could affect them, but he's world-class, he'll be ready for the conditions he'll face at Old Trafford.

"It's great to have him back, nobody wants to see anyone miss cricket through a head injury and he’ll have been very disappointed not to play at Headingley and very hungry to play in two crucial Test matches."

Australia batsman Steve Smith will head to the crease in the fourth Ashes Test still thinking about the Jofra Archer bouncer that left him with concussion, according to Simon Jones.

Smith is expected to return to the tourists' line-up at Old Trafford having missed the second innings at Lord's and their one-wicket loss to England at Headingley last month with a bout of concussion sustained when a short delivery from Archer struck his neck.

The 30-year-old, who remains the series' leading run-scorer despite only playing half of the six innings, refuted the idea Archer has "got the wood over me" last week when he pointed out England's latest Test star "hasn't actually got me out".

However, former England seamer Jones is adamant Smith and the rest of the Australian team will still be thinking about Archer's threat when the two teams renew their rivalry in the fourth Test, which begins on Wednesday.

Asked by Omnisport whether Archer's bouncer would be playing on Smith's mind, Jones replied: "Of course it is.

"He's trying to play it down, as any normal person would. They've had a little bit of banter in the press, always will during an Ashes series. Things get said, but the talking has to be done out there.

"I'm sure Archer if he gets the opportunity to bowl to him he will go after him again. It's natural, that's your job as a fast bowler. You've got to impose yourself on the opposition.

"That will definitely be in the back of Steve Smith's mind, as it will for all the other batters."

With Smith only able to watch on at Headingley, Ben Stokes inspired England to pull off a miracle with an unbeaten century that kept the series alive and dashed Australia's chances of retaining the urn before the final two Tests.

An England victory in Leeds appeared unfathomable when they were rolled for 67 first time around and their top-order failings were evident in the second innings too when they fell to 15-2.

Joe Denly has confirmed the batting order will be rejigged at Old Trafford, where he will be promoted to open and the struggling Jason Roy will drop down to four.

That is a decision that has won the approval of Jones, part of England's Ashes-winning team in 2005.

"I think that's a great move, I think that's the right move," added Jones, who was speaking on behalf of Specsavers, the official Test partner of the England cricket team.

"Jason Roy is immensely talented, I think he's a class, class player. He's facing a very good bowling attack. Yes, he's played the odd shot where he's been a little bit loose but that's the way he plays. If he creams it for four, they'd say, 'What a hell of a shot'. I think give him a go at four.

"To bring in changes now and to change the side is quite dangerous because the harmony they have at the moment, the way they are balancing that side... they are comfortable with each other.

"I think that was a big key for us building up to 2005. We had the same group of players, same 12. So every time you walked into that dressing room, you felt comfortable. And I think that's what England have to do now.

"Denly's class as well. He's starting to hit form. He's getting some more runs, he got 50 in the last game. I do like the look of the pair of them, I think they need to manoeuvre them around a little bit to give them the best opportunity to score runs and go for it."

Joe Denly has revealed he will open the batting for England in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford, with Jason Roy moving down to four.

Roy has opened alongside Rory Burns for the first three Tests but has been unable to recapture his stunning Cricket World Cup form, amassing a meagre 57 runs from six innings.

Denly, who made his Test debut as an opener against West Indies earlier in the year, dropped down the order to accommodate Roy's place in the top two for the Ashes.

He has also struggled to mount a big score, though the Kent batsman came up with a valuable half-century at Headingley to help England snatch victory after the hosts were bowled out for 67 in their first innings.

Reports emerged over the weekend suggesting England would switch the top of their order for the Old Trafford Test and Denly said the speculation is accurate.

"I can confirm that, it's all true," Denly told BBC Sport.

"I got a call from Joe Root after a bit of time off and he said he'd like for me to go at the top of the order and try and get us off to a good start.

"Jason's going to bat at four. With Jason Roy in the team, we're a better team, that's for sure.

"With him coming him at four, with hopefully the new ball having worn off and myself and Rory doing our jobs at the top, it enables him to come in and play his way. He's a dangerous player so he's great to have there."

Denly came in with England toiling at 15-2 in their second innings at Headingley but along with captain Root steadied the ship and built a platform for the team's record Test run chase.

His efforts helped set the stage for an incredible final day when Ben Stokes' heroics led England to the unlikeliest of victories with one wicket to spare.

"I don't think that's going to sink in for a while actually. It was a remarkable day, one that will be remembered for ever," Denly said.

"To be honest, the first days are a bit of a blur, including my 50. It's all about the last hour for me.

"But I'm proud, any top-order batsman wants more runs and that was certainly the feeling with me, it would have been nice to go on and get a bigger score but it wasn't to be. 

"Thankfully, we had King Stokes to come in and finish it off."

England batsman Alex Hales, meanwhile, has reasserted his commitment to one-day cricket by signing a two-year white-ball deal with Notts Outlaws.

Hales was left out of England's World Cup squad after he was suspended for what his spokesperson described as an "off-field incident", while he has not been selected for a Test since 2016.

Justin Langer felt physically sick after Australia's dramatic defeat at Headingley but has revelled in one of the toughest weeks of his coaching career as Steve Waugh returned to the visitors' camp for the remaining Ashes Tests.

Ben Stokes was England's hero in Leeds, clubbing his way to 135 not out to lead the hosts to a thrilling one-wicket victory that levelled the series.

Australia, however, will retain the Ashes should they win the fourth Test, which starts at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Though Langer labelled the days following Headingley as the hardest he has endured as a coach, the former Australia opener has enjoyed rallying his squad for the upcoming matches.

"As challenging as this week's been, it's been awesome," Langer said.

"I've loved this last week of coaching, because you can either sit back and feel sorry for yourself and put it under the carpet, or you can work out ways to make sure we're up for the first ball and then the next Test match.

"That's the toughest part of it, we were that close [to victory], I actually felt physically sick after it, then I went back to my room and I wasn't sure whether to cry my eyes out or smash my hotel room.

"For most people it's just a game of cricket, but when so much goes into it, it means a lot. You do take it personally because I know how much work's going into it.

"You never like to let opportunities slip in your life. But that's okay, we'll make sure we learn from it."

Langer received a further boost ahead of the Old Trafford Test, with Waugh returning to the backroom team after missing the third match.

Like Ricky Ponting during the World Cup, Waugh mentored Australia's squad throughout the opening two Tests and Langer is delighted to welcome a key figure of his staff back to the fold.

"Guys like Ponting and Waugh, not only do they have a great presence in the group, but they are great psychologists," Langer said.

"They've been in the cauldron before, they've seen it all, so to have that those type of guys, we are talking about developing leadership in Australian cricket, to have our guys to learn from people of that calibre is very important.

"He's been like a kid at Christmas, to come back after such a long time away from the game, his passion and enthusiasm has been brilliant.

"We asked him to stay for the third Test but he had to go back for a function, he was actually going to fly there, do the function and fly back the next day. That's how much he is enjoying it and we see great value."

Another emphatic India victory over West Indies continues to look inevitable in Kingston after the overmatched hosts ended day three on 45-2 in their second innings, having been set 468 for victory.

Jasprit Bumrah's six-wicket burst on the previous evening put India - winners of the series-opener by 318 runs - in total command of the second Test and ensured the Windies began Sunday's play trailing by 329 on 87-7.

They were dismissed for 117 before lunch, despite contrasting shows of modest resistance from Jahmar Hamilton and Kemar Roach, before India opted against enforcing the follow-on and declared on 168-4 to leave a mammoth target.

Roach removed touring skipper Virat Kohli for a golden duck and came agonisingly close to emulating Bumrah's hat-trick from the previous day, only missing out on a third wicket in as many balls when Ajinkya Rahane inside-edged a delivery past his stumps for four.

Kohli's exit left India 36-3, but Rahane (64 not out) and first-innings centurion Hanuma Vihari (53 not out) raised the tempo in a fifth-wicket stand of 111 that set up an evening declaration.

The Windies then lost both of their opening batsmen in the 13 overs before stumps and appear to be facing a hopeless task with two days still remaining.

Although India are in command, Roach could be proud of his efforts on Sunday.

He struck a trio of boundaries in an innings of 17 that, in tandem with Hamilton's 59-ball five, at least prolonged the Windies' miserable first innings.

Roach then starred with the ball when India batted again, trapping Mayank Agarwal lbw for four before striking twice in the 21st over.

KL Rahul's painful innings of six, which spanned 63 balls, ended when he was caught behind and Kohli immediately followed suit having been forced to play at a teasing delivery.

Roach then found Rahane's inside edge with his next delivery, but the ball narrowly missed the stumps and instead ran to the fence.

West Indies' only subsequent success came courtesy of skipper Jason Holder, who ousted Cheteshwar Pujara for 27 before Rahane and Vihari found fluency in the evening session.

Kohli called a halt to the innings after both batsmen passed 50 and soon had reason to celebrate as Kraigg Brathwaite edged Ishant Sharma through to Rishabh Pant in the third over of the Windies' second dig.

John Campbell was guilty of an inexcusably loose shot as he drove airily at Mohammed Shami to be caught by Kohli at third slip.

Darren Bravo made it through to stumps in the company of Shamarh Brooks, but the former suffered a nasty blow to the helmet from Bumrah in the final over of the day.

Jasprit Bumrah claimed a hat-trick in a quite sensational display that set India on course for another big victory in the second Test against West Indies, who ended day two in disarray on 87-7.

The tourists, who won the first match by a whopping 318 runs, initially progressed from 264-5 to 416 all out on day two in Kingston, thanks largely to Hanuma Vihari's maiden Test hundred and 57 from Ishant Sharma.

If that ensured India maintained control of proceedings, what followed certainly left the Windies staring at defeat as Bumrah ran through their top order almost single-handedly.

He returned outstanding figures of 6-16 from 9.1 overs - including just the third Test hat-trick by an India bowler - in a phenomenal perfromance.

The Windies were 22-5 at one stage and grateful to Shimron Hetmyer (34) for a recovery of sorts as they at least batted out the evening session, ending the day 329 runs behind with only three first-innings wickets in hand.

Bumrah is playing just his 12th Test but already has 61 wickets and a quintet of five-wicket hauls after this remarkable spell.

The 25-year-old had put a dent in the Windies' response even before his hat-trick, tempting an edge from John Campbell (2) for the early breakthrough.

That came in Bumrah's third over - after which he had figures of 1-3 - and his fourth was staggering.

Darren Bravo was taken low at second slip by KL Rahul off the second ball, before Sharmarh Brooks fell lbw immediately, his review proving unsuccessful.

The finger did not go up for the next ball to Roston Chase, but Virat Kohli was confident the new batsman had also been trapped leg before and the review backed him up, confiming Bumrah's hat-trick.

Although Hetmyer belatedly stopped the Windies' rot, Bumrah was not done and Kraigg Brathwaite was caught behind in the 13th over, having had the audacity to hit the bowler for four from the previous delivery.

Bumrah briefly let someone else in on the act, with Hetmyer's brave resistance ended by Mohammed Shami, but the chief destroyer was back at it as home captain Jason Holder swiped to mid-off.

The show-stealing turn of Bumrah perhaps unfortunately pushed Vihari (111) and Ishant out of the headlines after the pair performed admirably with the bat.

Vihari built a series of partnerships - including an eighth-wicket stand of 112 with Sharma - before three wickets in as many overs finally brought India's first innings to an end.

Holder's dismissal of Vihari gave the all-rounder his fifth wicket of the innings and his 100th in Test cricket, also leaving number 11 Bumrah unbeaten on a day when he could do no wrong.

Australia are still considering their options at the top of the order ahead of the fourth Ashes Test against England, says chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns.

The tourists were pegged back in the third match at Headingley as Ben Stokes' history-making innings levelled the series at 1-1 heading into the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

Australia had already been forced into changes in their batting line-up due to Steve Smith's absence with concussion, while opener Cameron Bancroft was dropped in Leeds following a tough start to the series.

Smith will come back in for the next match but it appears unlikely he will be the only returning face, although Marnus Labuschagne will likely be retained after impressing in the former captain's absence.

A tour match victory over Derbyshire - secured on Saturday by an innings and 54 runs - increased Australia's options as Mitchell Marsh, batting at number three, made 74.

Hohns said: "This game has given us a lot more options. We'll get to Manchester, hopefully have a look at the pitch, and go through what options we do have - and they are plenty.

"There are a couple of headaches there, but nice headaches, of course, and the important thing is that we come up with a balanced team now to win this next Test match.

"The area up the top is not so much concerning but it's been difficult for both teams at the top of the order. That's an area we'll certainly be looking at.

"Mitchell Marsh has given us a good option today. All players are in contention."

Matthew Wade would appear to be at risk, having failed to build on his 110 in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston with three single-figure dismissals since.

"He played very well that innings he made a hundred," Hohns said. "Unfortunately things have not quite gone his way since then. That will certainly be an area we are having a look at."

Labuschagne is also a "prime contender", Hohns acknowledged, having impressed since becoming Smith's concussion substitute and making history in the process.

The selector would not rule out bowling changes either, even if Nathan Lyon is "no doubt at all" after giving Australia a scare by twisting his ankle in a training game of touch rugby.

Mitchell Starc – who took 3-46 and 4-39 against Derbyshire - is an obvious candidate to come into the side having sat out the first three Tests, with Hohns adding: "He's certainly given us a good option there.

"We'll have a look at the pitch, of course, and we have heard that it is renowned for being possibly the quickest in the country. That will all be taken into account.

"Right from the start of the tour it was made very clear what was expected of our bowlers and where we wanted them to bowl.

"Mitchell has taken all that on board and he was worked very, very hard to improve his game in that area.

"We all know he is an aggressor, so we can't expect him to change the way he bowls too much. But he is doing everything he possibly can to bowl in the right areas and the right channels."

Derbyshire started Saturday's play on 53-3 and were skittled for 112, with Marsh (2-5) and Peter Siddle (2-21) joining Starc in the wickets.

An unbroken 72-run partnership between Captain Brian Barnes and Nathaniel O’Sullivan steered Manchester to an eight-wicket victory over St. Mary at the JDF field on Thursday to win the 30th staging of the Kingston Wharves U15 Cricket Competition.

India recovered from a shaky start in Jamaica to establish control against West Indies - thanks in no small part to captain Virat Kohli.

Coming in at 46-2, Kohli helped to stabilise the India innings as he and opener Mayank Agarwal put on a crucial 69-run partnership for the third wicket.

Kohli went on to make 76 and Agarwal contributed 55 as India patiently amassed 264-5 by stumps.

The India skipper became the third of West Indies counterpart Jason Holder's three wickets when he finally departed, edging behind to debutant wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton, leaving the tourists on 202-5.

At that stage, the day could have still swung West Indies' way.

However, Hanuma Vihari (42 not out) and Rishabh Pant (27no) saw India safely to the close of play without any further damage.

West Indies debutant off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall made a promising start to his international career, taking the early wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara and claiming two catches off Holder's bowling.

He bowled 27 overs at a cost of 69 runs on a day when West Indies leant heavily on spin having elected to bowl first.

Kemar Roach picked up the other wicket to fall on Friday – the paceman had Ajinkya Rahane (24) caught behind by Hamilton, who stepped into the home XI to replace the injured Shai Hope behind the stumps.

India lead the two-match series 1-0 after a 318-run victory in the first Test at North Sound, Antigua.

James Anderson's Ashes career looks to have been ended by a recurrence of a calf injury after England's greatest bowler was ruled out of the Old Trafford and Oval Tests.

The 575-wicket paceman was on duty for Lancashire second XI for the second week in a row, looking to prove his fitness for the climax of the series against Australia.

With England and Australia tied at 1-1, the prospect of Anderson coming into Joe Root's team could have provided a major spur for the hosts.

However, a right calf problem has seen the plans shelved, and at the age of 37 it seems certain Anderson has played his final Ashes match. He will be 39 by the time the next series against Australia comes around Down Under in 2021-22.

Anderson limped out of the ongoing series on day one of the Edgbaston opener and has not been involved since.

The 37-year-old seamer clung to the hope of returning, but calf trouble resurfaced in the Lancashire second-string game against Durham at Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club.

"That's a big blow for us," said England spinner Jack Leach.

"Obviously he's a great bowler, probably England's greatest bowler, so whenever that happens it's going to be a big blow.

"I'm gutted for him. He's worked really hard to try to get fit for Lord's and for this game [at Old Trafford] so it's a shame for Jimmy and a shame for England.

"We have to move on without him for this game and for the rest of the series. But I'm sure he’ll come back strong, and it's a shame for him."

Anderson has taken 104 wickets in 32 Tests against Australia, at an average of 34.56.

He had looked certain to return to the England squad at Old Trafford, where a stand is named in his honour, providing he came through his low-profile county outings.

England have instead had to look elsewhere to find competition in the bowling department, with Somerset's Craig Overton called up.

Leach, who played the gutsy support role at Headingley when Ben Stokes produced his match-winning century, said England would be fully focused for the rest of the series after enjoying a short break from camp.

Players have been free to return home and spend time with friends and family, and Leach told BBC Radio 5 Live: "You want to be excited and refreshed going to Old Trafford – that's the most important thing for the guys.

"I’m sure Rooty [captain Root] and Trev [coach Trevor Bayliss] will be sending that message to us on Sunday evening, when we're meeting up, and on Monday at training we’ve got to be right on the money.

"The celebrations after Headingley, not from us but from the rest of the country, it feels like it’s the end and we've won the Ashes. But that’s not the case. It's 1-1 and there's two games to go.

"Australia are a good side and they're well up for this and we know they're going to come back hard and we’ve got to be ready for that."

Steve Smith was undone by spin on his return to batting action for Australia against Derbyshire on Friday.

The former Australia captain was forced to miss the third Ashes Test at Headingley last week because of concussion, after being hit on the side of the head by a bouncer from England paceman Jofra Archer in the previous match.

After being given the all-clear to resume batting, Smith would have hoped for plenty of time at the crease in the three-day tour match at Derby.

However, he fell for just 23 when he went after leg spinner Matt Critchley with an aggressive shot. Smith failed to fully control a big swipe into the off side and was caught in the deep by Hamidullah Qadri.

Smith was walking off before the catch was taken and was pictured by a member of Australia's media team, apparently heading straight to the nets.

Australia bowled out Derbyshire for 172 on Thursday, the first day of the match, and the tourists' top three all made half-centuries in response, with Marcus Harris run out for 64, Usman Khawaja contributing 72 and Mitchell Marsh pressing his claims for a Test recall with 74.

After 80 overs of their first innings, Australia were 274 for five, leading by 102 runs.

The Ashes series is tied at 1-1 ahead of the fourth Test starting at Old Trafford on September 4.

James Anderson has been ruled out of the rest of the Ashes series due to pain in his right calf, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced.

England’s record Test wicket-taker limped out of the action on day one of the opening match in the series at Edgbaston, and has not been involved since.

However, the 37-year-old seamer clung to the hope he would be able to prove his fitness in time for the matches at Old Trafford and The Oval.

His prospects looked to be improving as he took part in two second XI matches for his county Lancashire, but Anderson suffered a setback on Thursday, and medical checks dealt him bad news.

The ECB said on its website: "England and Lancashire seamer James Anderson has been ruled out for the rest of the Specsavers Ashes series.

"Whilst bowling in the ninth over on Thursday in Lancashire’s second XI four-day friendly against Durham at Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club, Anderson became aware of right calf pain following on from 20 overs he had bowled on Tuesday

"He immediately sought a medical assessment from Lancashire and was withdrawn from the remainder of the game. Further review with the ECB medical team has confirmed that he will be unavailable for the remaining two Specsavers Ashes Tests."

Given his track record, Anderson looked sure to return to the England squad at Old Trafford, where a stand is named in his honour, providing he came through his low-profile county outings.

England have instead been prompted to look elsewhere to find competition in the bowling department, with Somerset’s Craig Overton called up for the first time since March 2018.

The fast-medium bowler has played in three Tests, including defeats to Australia in Adelaide and Perth in the 2017 Ashes.

He has 32 wickets at 21.34 apiece in the County Championship this season, and together with Sam Curran could rival Chris Woakes for a place in the team for Old Trafford, with the fourth Test due to start on September 4.


England squad for fourth Test: Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.
 

 

Ben Stokes produced a box-office innings in the third Ashes Test and Jack Leach has revealed the England hero did so while wearing his team-mate's crotch protection.

England pulled off one of the most remarkable Test victories of all time at Headingley on Sunday as Stokes made an unbeaten 135 in a one-wicket win against Australia that kept the series alive.

He produced his most incredible shots alongside last man Leach, with their unbroken 76-run partnership denying Australia, who would have retained the urn had they found a way to get either player out.

Leach, who only made one not out from 17 balls as Stokes brilliantly farmed the strike, has now confirmed that England's superstitious hero has made Ashes centuries in successive Tests wearing a box he borrowed from the tailender.

"He uses my box now," Leach explained to BBC Somerset.

"In the Lord's game, he had to get ready quite quickly. There were a couple of wickets and he lost his box so he was panicking.

"He was like, 'Leachy, can I borrow your box?'

"He was not out at the end of the day and he was like, 'This is going to sound weird, but I need to keep using your box'.

"So obviously I was like, 'Yeah, that's fine'. 

"After that innings he was like, 'Mate, I'm going to have to keep that box now, it's a bit of a superstitious thing', and if Ben Stokes is happy, then I'm happy.

"It obviously worked again in this case."

Stokes made 115 not out in the second Test at Lord's, which ended as a draw, and appeared to be caught right in the area Leach's box was protecting from a Josh Hazlewood delivery during that innings.

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