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"He immediately sought a medical assessment from Lancashire and was withdrawn from the remainder of the game.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.

Gareth Southgate insists Kyle Walker's omission from the latest England squad does not mean his international career is over.

The Manchester City defender was overlooked for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo despite making a strong start to the season at club level.

Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold, Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the recalled Kieran Trippier all made the cut ahead of 29-year-old Walker, an integral member of the side that reached the World Cup semi-finals last year.

Southgate wants to continue developing the international pedigree of younger options but denied a pecking order has now been established.

"It depends on how well everybody does," the Three Lions boss told a news conference.

"I have not said to Kyle that that's it. I think that it was a bit different with [Ashley] Young last year, where we recognised that we were going to have to move forward and unless we were in real difficulty, we wouldn't go back. Kyle is not at that age.

"But I think these [young] guys, I want to have a look at in games that are a good stepping stone for them.

"Without getting Trent's head too big too quickly, he's got to be one of those we look to integrate and give more opportunity to.

"So it's a bit like at a club, if we don't make a pathway then when are you ever going to put them in?

"With Aaron we've got a completely different kind of player, so we've got Trips as a bit of cover around that and there's no point bringing Kyle in if the intention is not to start him in the games.

"He's a senior player and he'll value the rest and recovery as much as anything else."

Gareth Southgate hopes Mason Mount and James Maddison will inject midfield creativity into his England squad.

Mount, 20, and Maddison have impressed for Chelsea and Leicester City during the opening weeks of this season and account for half of the uncapped players selected for the Three Lions' Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo, along with Manchester United right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Aston Villa centre-back Tyrone Mings.

Southgate helmed England's run to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the Nations League Finals, an impressive feat undermined by his side lacking some cutting edge at the business end of the competitions.

Mount - who has scored two in three matches for Chelsea on the back of impressive loan spells at Vitesse and Derby County - and Maddison featured in England's squad last October and the manager is now ready to unleash them on the international stage.

"I think Mason Mount's been one of the outstanding players in the league already this season," Southgate told reporters.

"We brought both of those guys in last October as much for the experience as anything. This time in particular, in Mason's case, as the younger one, he's in on merit, simple as that.

"He looks like he's threatening the goal every game he plays. I've watched him develop through our youth teams since he was 16 and he's been an outstanding player at every age group.

"He's not in on the back of three games at Chelsea. He's in on the back of a year in the Eredivisie, which was outstanding [and] a very successful year with Derby."

On 22-year-old Maddison, Southgate said: "I think he is improving as a player. He's a talent for sure. I think we have to work out where that fits into the way that we play.

"His numbers are impressive: goals and assists, outstanding set-play delivery. So, it's an interesting one for us to work more closely with.

"I think we have various strengths to our squad and we have obvious areas where we would like more experienced, developed players. But we have some exciting players that can come in and give us different options."

Mings, who is four years Maddison's senior, provides a left-sided option at centre-back and has been forced to come through the adversity of serious injury setbacks during his career.

"Tyrone's an interesting case as he entered the game a bit later and hasn't played as much as a centre-back," Southgate said.

"He had a big injury at Bournemouth, but I really like his leadership qualities.

"He's an outstanding athlete and I see a lot of potential and time for growth given the number of games he's played."

England are top of Group A after two games, having hammered five goals past each of Czech Republic and Montenegro in March.

Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings has been selected as one of four uncapped players in England's squad to face Bulgaria and Kosovo in Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Mings is included alongside Manchester United right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka and creative midfielders Mason Mount and James Maddison, who have started the season impressively for Chelsea and Leicester City respectively.

Atletico Madrid's Kieran Trippier returns having been cut from Gareth Southgate's travelling party for the Nations League Finals, meaning Kyle Walker misses out on a spot in the 25-man squad alongside Manchester City team-mate John Stones – the latter having sat out his club's past two games with a hamstring injury.

Discussing Wan-Bissaka and Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, Southgate told a news conference: "That's the reason for Kyle Walker not being with us - we've got two young players we want to look at before next summer.

"We also want Kieran Trippier to know he's still on our radar. He's a had a huge move to Atletico Madrid and started the season really well.

"It's an area of the pitch where we have some real strength. I've explained the rationale to Kyle. It's not that he's had a poor start to the season with Manchester City – quite the opposite."

Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in the international fold following his knee injury ordeal, while Tottenham's Harry Winks further bolsters Southgate's midfield ranks.

Tom Heaton and Nick Pope are the goalkeepers named alongside number one Jordan Pickford – Jack Butland missing out after an error-strewn start to the campaign with Stoke City.

England are top of Group A following emphatic wins over Czech Republic and Montenegro in March.

 

England squad in full: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Tom Heaton (Aston Villa), Nick Pope (Burnley); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Michael Keane (Everton), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham); Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), James Maddison (Leicester City), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Declan Rice (West Ham), Harry Winks (Tottenham); Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth).

Jofra Archer feared he had cost England the Ashes when his efforts to match Ben Stokes' big hitting in the third Test came up short.

With just Stuart Broad and Jack Leach to come in the order, Archer appeared to represent England's last realistic hope as they chased a target of 359 to beat Australia and level the series at Headingley.

Archer, the star of the drawn second match at Lord's when on debut, hit three fours and made 15 but was then caught on the boundary by Travis Head to reduce the home side to 286-8.

Leaving Stokes to do the heavy lifting all by himself, Archer thought he had blown England's last chance for glory in Leeds.

"I wanted to make it less hard work for Ben, but I got out," he told reporters. "I thought I had messed the series up - not just the game but the series.

"So I am very relieved that we are still alive and fighting. Your coach always tells you, 'Don't leave it for anyone else'. I tried to do as much of it as I could.

"We have all seen enough cricket to know 80 to win with just one wicket left against the Australian bowling attack...

"We were very grateful to be on the winning side, that is all I can say."

Leach proved to be the unlikely hero to assist Stokes, however, as England pulled off a sensational recovery with their last-wicket pair at the crease.

The hosts won in similarly dramatic fashion in the Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand and Archer believes these narrow victories provide a confidence boost to the players.

"I still watch the World Cup highlights," he said. "But all I can say is that Headingley game was special. When [Nathan] Lyon fumbled the run out, you could hear a heartbeat in the dressing room.

"It just shows our fight. No one rolled over and played dead, everyone wanted to win, even the number 11 was very keen to get stuck in. He (Leach) will be called upon again at some point in the series.

"We got a taste of what it is like to win from nowhere, so I guess we can take that on with us."

England paceman Jofra Archer hit back at Australia batsman Steve Smith as the pair traded jibes ahead of the fourth Ashes Test.

Smith is set to return from a concussion at Old Trafford when the fourth Test begins on Wednesday, in a huge boost for the tourists with the series locked at 1-1.

The star batsman was ruled out of the third Test, which England incredibly won by one wicket, after being hit by an Archer bouncer at Lord's.

Smith reminded fans Archer was yet to get him out during the Ashes and the England paceman offered a response.

"Well, I can't get him out if he wasn't there," he told UK newspapers, via The Guardian.

"But there'll be more than ample time to get him out. I'm not saying I won't get him out but if we don't get him out there's 10 other people we can get out and if he's stranded on 40 that's not helping his team too much.

"He can't do it all himself. We want to win the game. I'm not here to get caught up in a contest with one man. I want to win the Ashes."

Led by Ben Stokes (135 not out), England incredibly chased down a target of 359 to draw level in the series at Headingley.

Archer believes that win is set to give the hosts a psychological advantage for the remainder of the series.

"That's the thing, never get complacent. To be fair, 359 runs is a lot of runs. The crowd started to get on their backs as well, I think they panicked a bit," he said.

"They probably thought they were going to roll us if they got a few quick early wickets but they didn't and I'm glad we showed some resistance because the series isn't over and in the upcoming games I don't think they'll declare now.

"If they do have a chance I don't think they'll be too attacking. If they draw the series they still get to retain the Ashes."

Usman Khawaja insisted England's miraculous triumph in the third Test at Headingley has only fuelled Australia's desire to retain the Ashes.

Ben Stokes' inspired display kept the five-Test series alive as hosts England amassed their highest ever fourth-innings run chase in Leeds, where the hosts prevailed by one wicket last week.

Australia, however, will be able to welcome talisman Steve Smith back to the fold for the Old Trafford Test after the star batsman missed the Headingley clash due to a concussion sustained at Lord's.

Smith will play a three-day tour match against Derbyshire, with Khawaja captaining an Australia side which also includes Marcus Harris, Cameron Bancroft and Marnus Labuschagne.

Khawaja acknowledged Australia's defeat was a tough blow to take, but he has no doubt the tourists will bounce back before the end of the series, with one win from the two remaining Tests enough to retain the urn.

"Disappointing for us but hopefully it'll make the next game or the game after even more sweet when we do win," Khawaja said. "It was an excellent innings [from Stokes]. The way it ended, the drama, you couldn't write a script like that. It was heartbreaking for us as a team.

"It was a good game if you look at it from the eyes of a fan, what an amazing game.  I hope it's not too much of an epic [series]. The last game was clearly epic for England fans, and there have been great Ashes rivalries and games. 

"We played beautifully in the last game, we were so close to winning the Ashes, and if a few things go our way at the end then we would have done.

"We've played some really good cricket and we're confident we'll get that win."

With the fourth Test not starting until September 4, there is a 10-day gap between the matches, though Khawaja does not believe it will have been easier for Australia if the break was a shorter one. 

"It doesn't make much difference. We already had two Tests back-to-back so it was pretty tough," Khawaja said.

"It's nice to get a bit of a break, refresh and go for the next two. Test cricket's always hard work, always tough competition. There's a lot of depth with Australia's squad, and they all deserve to play which is a good thing."

Brian O'Driscoll is concerned by Ireland's form a month out from the Rugby World Cup but believes they can swiftly turn their fortunes around.

Ireland were the dominant team in world rugby in 2018, winning the Six Nations Grand Slam and defeating world champions New Zealand.

But this year has been a different story, with a humbling 57-15 reverse to England in Saturday's World Cup warm-up at Twickenham providing cause for concern.

Yet former Ireland star O'Driscoll is backing Joe Schmidt's men to respond, potentially starting with back-to-back fixtures against Wales before the tournament in Japan.

"It's concerning in that you would prefer to be playing with huge confidence," O'Driscoll, a Land Rover ambassador, told Omnisport.

"In the first warm-up games, you have a stuffy victory against Italy and then a resounding defeat to England, who just looked like a completely different level.

"Of course, I'd be concerned that the confidence appears to have taken a dent and you want to go in [to the World Cup] feeling as though you can play your best rugby or you have your best rugby in close parameters to where you're at. That doesn't seem to be the case at the moment.

"But sport can be fickle and it can turn around very, very quickly as well. We saw the All Blacks beaten badly by Australia and coming around the following week and hammering them at home, nilling them. You can turn it around.

"What I'm sure will disappoint Joe Schmidt the most is that the lads just didn't seem like the same accuracy and same levels expected of them were delivered at the weekend.

"But they have a chance this weekend of putting that right. That's the beauty of having a game the following week after a big defeat."

If Ireland can rediscover some confidence, O'Driscoll suggests recent results should not quell optimism ahead of the World Cup.

"It's happened with New Zealand for a number of World Cups, where they've peaked in between and not quite been able to manage it on the biggest stage," he said.

"That's the question with Ireland now, they've not quite delivered at a World Cup level. But that doesn't mean this time [they] can't turn that around.

"It's not ideal preparation so far, but the way the group works, playing Scotland and Japan - they're capable of winning both of those games and also the two other games [against Russia and Samoa].

"Finish top of the group and you have the game of your life against New Zealand or South Africa - win that and you're in a semi-final.

"That really simplifies it, but any team will tell you, get to a semi-final and of course you're capable of winning a World Cup. You're one game away from playing in a World Cup final."

 

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Chris Woakes has conceded he doubted even Ben Stokes could turn the tide in the third Ashes Test between England and Australia at Headingley.

Stokes amassed an incredible 135 not out and led a 76-run stand for the last wicket alongside number 11 Jack Leach as the hosts, who were all out for 67 in their first innings, chased down an unlikely target of 359 to level the series at 1-1 on Sunday.

Woakes witnessed a similarly superb performance from Stokes in a dramatic Cricket World Cup final victory over New Zealand in July, though he thought England's chances of keeping the Ashes alive in Leeds were all but over.

"I've seen Ben do some incredible things on the cricket field but I thought this one was just out of reach for him to be honest," Woakes told the BBC's Stumped programme.

"I thought he was done, it was done, and when the score starts creeping down to about 50 to win you start thinking, 'What if I'd been able to build a little bit of a partnership and get a bit closer?'

"We were kind of resigned to the fact that it was pretty much done.

"It was a very nervous and tense dressing room, and the closer Stokesy and Jack got the more tense it got, because we started thinking it was possible, which is a dangerous place to be."

England made their way back onto the field several hours after the game, and Woakes believes it was important to revel in the achievement.

"We went onto the outfield as a team to share the moment," he said.

"Although we realise it's mid-series, it was important to realise how special that game actually was, for Stokesy to do something unbelievable and incredible and you probably won't see that again."

Ben Stokes believes his remarkable Headingley heroics can only be truly judged if they lead to England regaining the Ashes.

Stokes compiled a sensational 135 not out as England chased down 359 to claim a one-wicket win in Leeds last week, levelling the five-match series at 1-1 after three Tests.

The all-rounder's blistering assault in a last-wicket stand of 76 alongside Jack Leach effectively secured him national-hero status – six weeks on from his man-of-the-match showing in a similarly breathless Cricket World Cup final triumph against New Zealand.

Stokes' career is increasingly one of incredible deeds – his Test best of 258 versus South Africa in 2016 another stand-out moment – but the 28-year-old thinks his latest exploits will only feel worthwhile if England take back possession of the urn.

"At the moment, it was right up there, when we hit the winning runs," he told Sky Sports News.

"I remember telling the lads at lunchtime [on Sunday] when we'd only lost the one wicket, 'Everything we've done in those two hours means nothing if we don't win this game.'

"It sort of feels the same. If we don't get these Ashes back, what will it feel like? I would take real satisfaction out of that innings if we end up winning the Ashes, because I'll know it got us back into the series."

Nevertheless, Stokes appreciates he and his team-mates are playing at a momentous and potentially influential time for the sport in their homeland.

"We are very aware as a team and as players we have a responsibility to inspire the next generation of cricketers," he said.

"With what we did in the first half of the summer at the World Cup, we did that. Our goal is to keep trying to improve that and keep trying to get more people into the game.

"Hopefully if we can win the Ashes then we'll see the next generation of cricketers coming out in England over the next 20 years."

Leach's part in Stokes' match-winning effort will live similarly long in the memory after the number 11 repelled 17 balls – concluding with the single that brought the scores level.

The Somerset left-arm spinner frequently cleaned his glasses between deliveries and Specsavers have agreed to provide Leach with free spectacles for life after Stokes lobbied the opticians to do so on Twitter.

"That's been everywhere," Stokes chuckled. "Jack Leach cleaning his glasses is a pretty iconic picture that's been taken from that game.

"I've seen the video of him running down the wicket after we won that game has gone viral as well.

"He's obviously got to take a lot of credit for us being able to get over the line. Those 17 balls he faced are probably the most crucial he's ever going to have in his career."

Jamie Heaslip is confident Rory Best is the right man to lead Ireland and will prove his worth as the pressure builds heading into the Rugby World Cup.

Captain Best's role has come under scrutiny this year as Ireland have failed to build on an outstanding 2018 in which they won the Six Nations Grand Slam and then defeated world champions New Zealand.

Joe Schmidt's men finished third in the 2019 Six Nations and then, in last week's World Cup warm-up, crashed to a record loss against England.

But 95-cap former Ireland international Heaslip, who played with Best, is confident the skipper will take the right approach following that reverse, calmly rallying the side as they face Wales in consecutive weeks before travelling to the tournament in Japan.

Best has confirmed he will retire from professional rugby following the World Cup.

"Rory's come in for a lot of criticism, particularly over the last week," Heaslip, a Land Rover ambassador, told Omnisport.

"But you look back at his tenure now – I think it's three years he's been captain – and the success of that team while he's been at the helm.

"Ireland have beaten every Tier 1 nation in the last two years. That type of consistency shows the leadership he's obviously showing day in day out in that camp.

"He would have been disappointed with his own performance last week and will be very eager to get another opportunity – just like every other player in that matchday squad from last week – to showcase what he can do on the field.

"And I would imagine his leadership qualities are coming out in full force this week, in terms of being up against it and the performance not being good enough.

"They were exploited by the other team, the pressure is starting to pile up, and it takes a really calm, level-headed person – just like Rory is – to this week get the players together and focus on the new task.

"He will captain them in that way. That's where Rory will show his real value to the team."

Heaslip is not overly concerned by the team's form either, with the exception of a "one-off" against England, and believes performance levels are not too far from where they were last year.

"I think they're in the exact same position [as in 2018], if I'm honest," he said. "Less than 12 months ago, everyone was saying these guys were going to win the World Cup after beating New Zealand.

"If you actually look at the games, the margin of winning and losing is so fine.

"You look at the first game of 2018, straight out of the gate, they don't score any tries, kick all the points, France score a try against them, and if it wasn't for a 41-phase drop goal effort from the halfway line – you couldn't write this stuff – they don't win the Six Nations, they don't win the Grand Slam.

"In 2019, you could say the same thing where the margin for the opposition to win the game is not that big. The margin for losing at international level is so fine.

"I think Ireland have actually been very consistent over the last 18 months, two years, the past World Cup cycle even. I think they're in exactly the same position. They're a bloody good team."

 

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England prop Mako Vunipola will be sidelined for around 10 days with minor hamstring complaint.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) confirmed Vunipola sustained "a small tear of scar tissue" while featuring as a second-half replacement during Saturday's 57-15 win over Ireland at Twickenham.

News of a small setback comes as a relative boost to England coach Eddie Jones after the Saracens front row was ruled out for three months with a hamstring injury in May – the Ireland game marking his return to action.

Exeter Chiefs' Ben Moon will join up with the squad at their training base in Treviso as a temporary replacement.

Moon's club team-mate Jack Nowell could miss the Rugby World Cup as he battles to overcome an ankle problem

Nowell has not featured in any of England's three warm-up Tests to date and was named in the 31-man squad despite suffering his injury during the Premiership final defeat to Saracens in June.

"I think he's going to be touch and go for involvement in the World Cup," Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon.

"But let's cross our fingers and hope that he can come through."

England play their final warm-up game against Italy at St James' Park next Friday before heading to Japan two days later on September 8.

Jones' men begin their World Cup campaign against Tonga on September 22.

Nathan Lyon sparked injury fears for Australia on Wednesday but his ankle issue is not believed to be serious.

The off-spinner, who moved past the great Dennis Lillee and on to 357 Test wickets during last week's remarkable one-wicket defeat to England at Headingley, twisted his ankle during a game of touch rugby ahead of Australia's tour match with Derbyshire.

However, Omnisport understands Lyon sat out the remainder of the training session as a mere precaution and, had he been in similar pain during a Test match, he would have stayed on the field.

The 31-year-old was at the centre of two huge flashpoints as a stunning contest in Leeds reached its conclusion, with Ben Stokes' magnificent 135 not out tying the series at 1-1 heading into next week's fourth Test at Old Trafford.

When England needed two runs to win, Lyon fumbled a simple run-out chance with last man Jack Leach well short of his ground.

Stokes thumped four of his eight sixes off Lyon, but the all-rounder survived a strong lbw appeal with next the delivery after Leach's run-out scare.

Replays indicated the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps, although Australia had used up their final review during the previous over, leaving Stokes to lash Pat Cummins through the covers and complete one of the most remarkable comeback wins in Test history.

Star batsman Steve Smith will return from his concussion absence in the three-day game at Derby, which starts on Thursday.

Usman Khawaja will captain the side, with Alex Carey called in from his stint at Sussex to keep wicket – allowing captain Tim Paine to rest up alongside Lyon, Cummins, David Warner, Travis Head, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson from the XI in action at Headingley.

Left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc and right-arm seamer Peter Siddle will look to press their claims for inclusion in Manchester, the former having yet to feature in the Test series.

Australia have named a much-changed team for their tour match against Derbyshire as they begin preparations for the fourth Ashes Test.

The tourists were beaten in a draining third match at Headingley as Ben Stokes produced one of Test cricket's greatest innings to secure a one-wicket England win.

From that side, unsurprisingly, there are a number of changes against Derbyshire for the fixture starting on Thursday, with Steve Smith recalled following his absence with concussion.

"I'm feeling pretty good," he said. "I faced some bowlers in the nets the other day. It's a bit of a slow process, you've got to tick off a few different boxes.

"I'm going well and will play the Derby game. Get through that and I'm pretty confident I'll be right for the fourth Test match."

Smith is joined in the side by Alex Carey, who will take the gloves in captain Tim Paine's absence, and Mitchell Starc, who will look to force his way into the bowling attack.

Carey, who played at the Cricket World Cup, had been in county action with Sussex but has been called in to join the Australia group.

Cameron Bancroft and Peter Siddle return, while Mitchell Marsh and Michael Neser come in, with seven changes made in all.

Usman Khawaja is named captain of the side against Derbyshire, while Marnus Labuschagne, Smith's concussion replacement, remains.

David Warner, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon, who was heavily involved in the closing stages of England dramatic series-levelling win, are among those rested.

 

Australia XI to play Derbyshire: Usman Khawaja, Cameron Bancroft, Alex Carey, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, Matthew Wade.

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