Australia took two wickets in the afternoon session but England captain Joe Root had an unbeaten half-century at tea after being dropped three times on day one of the fifth Ashes Test at the Oval.

England, unable to regain the urn but attempting to salvage a 2-2 draw, were 86-1 at lunch with Joe Denly falling to Pat Cummins for just 14 after Tim Paine won the toss and surprisingly opted to bowl.

Josh Hazlewood dismissed Rory Burns (47) while Mitchell Marsh - in for Travis Head - sent Ben Stokes (20) back to the pavilion, but Root (57 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (22no) saw England through to 169-3 at tea.

Root was given three lives by the sloppy tourists, who took a 2-1 lead with victory at Old Trafford, as he passed 7,000 Test runs on a good pitch under blue skies in London. 

A juggling Smith caught Denly at the third attempt to end an opening stand of 27 - the highest of the series - and the excellent Cummins should have had a second wicket when the recalled Peter Siddle put Root down on 24 at deep backward square-leg.

Root had just another run to his name when he was spilled by wicketkeeper Paine after Cummins drew an edge, while the home skipper was on 30 when Smith dropped a tough chance diving to his right at second slip, Siddle the unfortunate bowler on that occasion.

England's premier batsman drove Hazlewood for four to reach a notable personal milestone after lunch and Burns looked well set before he tamely top-edged the same bowler to Marsh at mid on, having struck seven boundaries in an otherwise assured knock.

Stokes, playing as a specialist batsman due to a shoulder injury, struck Cummins for back-to-back boundaries before gifting a wicket to Marsh, attempting to pull the all-rounder but ballooning to Nathan Lyon for 20.

Bairstow started positively with two fours off as many balls from Siddle - preferred to Mitchell Starc - and Root reached 50 as the Yorkshire duo combined for an unbroken stand of 39.

Joe Root was let off the hook by Peter Siddle and Tim Paine as England made a positive start to the final Ashes Test at The Oval.

Siddle, brought back into Australia's side at the expense of Mitchell Starc, should have dismissed England's captain on 24 but put down a simple catch at deep square leg.

The Yorkshireman's wicket would have been a vital one for Australia, with the visitors having struggled to test Root, who moved to 28 not out, or Rory Burns (42 no) following Joe Denly's dismissal.

Australia captain Paine also dropped his English counterpart, failing to hold onto a diving, one-handed attempt as England made it to lunch on 86-1.

Put into bat by Paine, England's Burns and Denly accumulated 27-0 by the end of the eighth over - the highest opening partnership of the series so far.

Things would have been different if in-form Burns had not successfully reviewed Marais Erasmus' leg before wicket decision in the fourth over, though Denly (14) was dismissed five overs later when he edged Pat Cummins to Steve Smith, who held on at the second attempt.

Root swiftly got about his business, clipping Siddle for two boundaries, while Burns fended off Mitchell Marsh.

Cummins bowled Root for a golden duck at Old Trafford, and the world's number one Test bowler should have had his wicket again.

A short ball drew Root into a poor hook shot, but Siddle failed to hold on in the outfield, and Cummins was frustrated once more in his next over.

Root flashed recklessly outside off stump, only for Paine - moving across David Warner at first slip - to attempt an acrobatic catch which went down as England held firm to survive the session.

Joe Root insists Jason Roy has not reached the end of the road in his Test career after the batsman was dropped by England for the final Ashes match against Australia.

Roy came into England's squad for the Ashes on the back of an impressive World Cup, but the 29-year-old - who opened the batting for the first three Tests before dropping to number four at Old Trafford - has failed to recapture the form he has shown in one-day cricket.

With all-rounder Ben Stokes having sustained a shoulder injury in the fourth Test, England have brought in Sam Curran as an extra bowler. That meant Roy, who accumulated just 110 runs from eight innings, misses out, while Chris Woakes has replaced Craig Overton.

Root, however, has no doubt Roy will work on improving his game in order to force his way back into consideration ahead of England's tour of New Zealand in November.

"It's always tough to leave guys out, but Stokesy suffered a shoulder injury in the last game and won't be able to bowl the overs you'd normally expect him to, and with that we've had to change the balance of the side," Root told a news conference.

"Jason's the unfortunate one to miss out. He's had an opportunity to come in and play Test cricket, get a feel for it.

"It's not quite gone how he would have liked but I’m sure he’ll go away, work extremely hard and come again and that’s what you'd expect of guys when they get left out.

"I'm sure he'll have that attitude, want to prove a point and get himself back into the side."

"Yes," Root said, when asked if he had spoken to Roy, who made his Test debut against Ireland in July.

"When you leave someone out you obviously have those conversations, and he’s very aware of where he's at and what he needs to do to get himself to the best place to perform in Test cricket."

Outgoing England coach Trevor Bayliss said on Tuesday that, despite media speculation, there was "no pressure" on Root's position as captain despite the team's failure to regain the Ashes.

And the Yorkshire batsman is adamant his side have plenty to play for heading into the final Test at The Oval.

"[It was] bitterly disappointing to not have got the Ashes back, but we haven't lost anything yet, we've got to make sure we square the series up and there's Test Championship points to play for as well which could make a huge difference," Root said.

"There's plenty to play for, the guys are very aware of that and determined to make sure we make the series 2-2.

"In terms of my own captaincy, I know the direction I want to take this team in and it's about starting that now, not after this series. We need to use this as a stepping stone, win this game, have a really strong winter and move forward as a group."

Jason Roy has been dropped from England's side for the final Ashes Test at The Oval after his poor form throughout the series, with Ben Stokes passed fit to bat.

Roy has failed to establish himself, either as an opener alongside Rory Burns or when switched to number four for the Old Trafford Test.

The 29-year-old's highest score came in Manchester, when he made 31 as England desperately attempted to keep the series alive, to no avail, and Roy has now made way for Sam Curran.

Craig Overton proved resilient with the bat in England's second innings at Old Trafford before he was eventually dismissed by Josh Hazlewood, but the Somerset bowler has been replaced by Chris Woakes.

Stokes will play as a specialist batsman, with the all-rounder unable to bowl due to a shoulder injury.

Australia captain Tim Paine confirmed one change to his 12-man squad, with Mitchell Marsh replacing Travis Head.

England team for fifth Ashes Test: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

James Anderson remains hungry to play for England after missing the Ashes - and has backed Joe Root to carry on as Test captain.

Seamer Anderson bowled just four overs on the first day of the opener against Australia due to a calf injury, though it was initially hoped he would still feature in the rest of the series.

However, while attempting to prove his fitness before the fourth Test at his home ground of Old Trafford, the 37-year-old suffered a setback on duty for Lancashire's second XI, ruling him out of contention.

Yet despite a disappointing 2019 so far, Anderson remains determined to get back to full fitness and turn out for his country again.

"At the minute, I'm just focusing on getting fit again. I've still got the hunger and desire to play for England," Anderson told Omnisport.

"As I've said before this year, up until I got injured, I've been bowling as well as I ever have, so I've still got the hunger there to get through this, do the rehab and get my body in good shape again and hopefully get onto a winter tour."

Without their all-time leading wicket-taker in the longest format, England have come up short in their bid to regain the Ashes on home soil.

Defeat in Manchester on Sunday means Australia - who won the previous series 4-0 - hold a 2-1 lead with just this week’s finale at the Oval to go.

Root's position as skipper has come into question in the aftermath of the fourth Test, though Anderson is adamant England do not need a captaincy change despite concerns extra responsibility has hampered the Yorkshireman's batting.

"I certainly think he's the right man for the job," Anderson said. "He's done some great work with the Test side over the last few years.

"From the team's point of view, we've shown glimpses of what we can do but been a little bit inconsistent. So it's about finding that consistency as a group.

"And I think he [Root] will be as disappointed as anyone with his form. It's a tricky one, whether if he had batted [at number] four it would make any difference.

"I don't think his captaincy is necessarily affecting his batting, he's just not scored the runs that he would have liked in the series."


James Anderson was speaking on behalf of ‘The Test Experts’ Specsavers, Official Test Partner for England cricket ahead of the final Test of the Specsavers Ashes Series at The Oval. Specsavers are encouraging fans to take eye and ear tests this summer.

Joe Root's position as England captain is not under threat, according to outgoing coach Trevor Bayliss.

Root's captaincy has been questioned from outside the England camp during the Ashes series, with Australia retaining the Ashes with one Test to spare thanks to their 185-run win at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The 28-year-old was appointed Test skipper following Alastair Cook's resignation in 2017, but England have struggled to find their best form in the longest form of the game under the Yorkshireman's leadership.

Despite the fate of the Ashes being already decided, Bayliss – who oversaw England's rise to dominance in one-day cricket and will leave his post at the end of the series – insists Root is not under scrutiny.

"He hasn't come under any questions from anyone making any decisions so he is under no pressure at all," Bayliss told a news conference ahead of the final Test at The Oval.

"Everyone goes through periods where they might not score quite as many runs as they would like. I think the Australian team have bowled pretty well to him.

"Let's see how things go further down the line, but from my point of view he's our premier batter and knowing the Australian way, they always try and target the opposition captain.

"He's batted well on occasions through this series when he's got a start. I don't see too many problems really."

In spite of calls for a shake-up to the Test side, England have named an unchanged squad for the final match, and Bayliss believes the selection policy throughout the series has been correct.

"I've been quite happy with the selections," he said. "The first thing you've got to say is, 'Who else is going to come in?'. That's one point.

"After three Tests in this series, either team could have been up 3-0 I thought. We had our chances when they were 120-8 in the first Test, second Test we finished on top and the game was a draw and the third Test, Australia could have won that and the first two so, as I said, it could have been 3-0 either way.

"If you think about it that way, we can't have got the selections too wrong."

England have named an unchanged 13-man squad for the fifth Ashes Test, despite seeing their Ashes hopes end at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Joe Root's side suffered a 185-run defeat in Manchester, the result meaning Australia - who won the 2017-18 series 4-0 on home soil - hold a 2-1 lead and are already certain to retain the urn.

However, rather than swing the axe following the fourth Test result, the selectors have opted to stick with the same group of players as they look to square the five-match series with victory at the Oval.

The show of faith gives a further opportunity to England's misfiring batsmen.

Only Ben Stokes, who made centuries at Lord's and Headingley, the second of which secured a remarkable one-wicket win, and opener Roy Burns average above 40 against Australia's potent bowling attack this year.

Jason Roy retains his place despite making just 110 runs in eight innings. After struggling as an opener, the right-hander was moved into the middle order at Old Trafford, making scores of 22 and 31.

All-rounder Stokes may yet feature as a specialist batsman in the Ashes finale, which begins on Thursday, with England to assess his injured shoulder in the coming days.

The fifth Test will be Trevor Bayliss' last as England coach - the Australian had already announced he would be leaving the role at the end of the series.

Australia retained the Ashes on Sunday as a 185-run loss at Old Trafford dashed England's hopes of regaining the urn.

For the first time since 2002-03, Australia ensured the Ashes will remain in their grasp - Marnus Labuschagne and Josh Hazlewood dealing the final blows in a drawn-out defeat for the hosts.

While one Test remains for England to level the series, talk has already turned to where it all went wrong for Joe Root's side - Steve Smith's supreme batting aside.

The World Cup triumph, and even Ben Stokes' Headingley heroics, now seem distant memories, and here are three key areas England must address if they are to ensure this Ashes defeat does not derail their Test side for a long stretch.

TOP-ORDER TRIBULATIONS

An elephant in the room heading into the series was England's crippling lack of options at the top of the order. Jason Roy, impressive in England's World Cup campaign, was shoehorned in alongside Rory Burns, who - with high scores of 133, 53 and 81 - has proved his worth as an opener.

Roy has failed to do so, with the aggression which serves him well in one-day cricket proving his downfall in the longest form.

After making just 57 runs from the first three Tests, Roy shifted to four at Old Trafford, switching with Joe Denly, who showed his ability to adapt with an admirable display in the second innings. Roy made 22 and 31 and was bowled twice.

The question now is whether to stick or twist with one of Roy or Denly while Ollie Pope, who scored an unbeaten 221 for Surrey in August, could be reintroduced with the view to becoming Burns' long-term partner.

ROOT GAMBLE HAS NOT PAID OFF

Given the frailties at the top of England's batting order, it was decided captain Root would bite the bullet and move up from his preferred slot at four, coming in at three instead.

It is a risk which has failed to pay dividends, with Root having been dismissed for ducks in three of the four Tests so far.

Though he played captain's knocks at both Headingley and Old Trafford, after a decent 57 in the first Test, Root does not seem comfortable coming in at three, having had less time to rally himself - not to mention the dressing room - following what has typically been the loss of an early wicket.

TWO WICKETKEEPERS, TOO MUCH

A star of limited-overs cricket, Jos Buttler's ability with the bat cannot be called into question, but the Lancashire wicketkeeper had scored over 30 only once in the series prior to the fourth Test.

Buttler perked up with 41 and 34 at Old Trafford. His ability behind the stumps has not been called upon, with Jonny Bairstow handed the gloves for the series, and it has been an underwhelming series for the former Test vice-captain.

Yorkshireman Bairstow has also struggled with the bat - scoring a high of 52 in the first innings at Lord's.

Given England's issues higher up the order, now might be time for a more streamlined approach, and one - if not both - of the keepers may have to make way, especially with Ben Foakes waiting in the wings.

Joe Root fended off questions about his future as England captain after Australia retained the Ashes by winning the fourth Test at Old Trafford on Sunday.

England showed great defiance to take it to the final hour on day five as they sought a draw that would have kept the series alive with one match remaining at The Oval next week.

New opener Joe Denly top scored with 53, while Jos Buttler, Craig Overton and Jack Leach also frustrated the tourists before England were finally bowled out for 197 to lose a gripping encounter by 185 runs.

A defiant Root stated in no uncertain terms that he is still the right man to lead his country in the longest format and stressed the importance of salvaging a 2-2 draw in London.

Asked if he thinks he should stay on as skipper, the batsman simply replied: "Yes."

He added: "Whenever you lose a series it obviously hurts. You have to take that on the chin, you have to look at areas you want to get better at both from yourself and as a team.

"Most importantly I've got to look at next week, we've got an important Test match against Australia. Every game against Australia counts and we've got to make sure we finish this summer strongly.

"We've got the Test Championship to play for and have to make sure we don't lose this series, so it's vitally important we turn up and win that game."

Root said England's World Cup triumph earlier this summer was no excuse for failing to regain the urn.

"I don't think that's an excuse. When you play in an Ashes series you turn up and put everything into it, everyone has done that." Root stated.

"At times we've not done our absolute best, we've played against a very good side that has performed well in this series."

 

England captain Joe Root remained proud of his side after their Ashes hopes ended with a "bitterly disappointing" Old Trafford defeat.

The 185-run loss to Australia in Manchester saw England miss out on a chance to regain the urn.

Craig Overton and one of England's Headingley heroes, Jack Leach, kept Australia waiting for the winning moment with a determined lower-order alliance.

But Marnus Labuschagne and Josh Hazlewood struck the final blows in the evening session, sparking joyful celebrations among the tourists.

Australia lead the series 2-1 heading into the final Test at The Oval, with Tim Paine's side, as holders, retaining the Ashes with a match to spare.

England must lick their wounds ahead of a possible reshuffle of the Test squad, but Root believes the dramatic moments throughout the series have shown the spirit within his side.

"We showed great character, great fight and belief in what we wanted to achieve, and I couldn't be more proud of the effort," a clearly emotional Root said at the post-match presentation.

"[It was] a really resilient performance, but unfortunately it wasn't quite enough. We always believed, always fight right until the end.

"Another great Test match, we've had fantastic support once more. It is bitterly disappointing but we've got to make sure we turn up for a big game for us at The Oval.

"You can always sit back and look at different areas of the game where you could have done things slightly differently, but today I'm really proud of the guys here.

"To get ourselves into a position like that, fight as hard as that, you learn a lot about the characters in the team, everybody stood up and played bravely. They should be proud of that."

Despite Ben Stokes' incredible match-winning innings at Headingley, the series has belonged to Australia's Steve Smith, who returned from his concussion-enforced absence in style.

Smith hit 211 in the first innings before stalling England's momentum with the ball in his second knock, scoring 82, and Root conceded the former Australia captain has proved the difference.

"Every batsman has been put under pressure, bar maybe Steve Smith, through the entire series," Root said.

"That's Test cricket at its best, you expect it to be challenging, expect guys to make life hard for you. It's been a series where batting has been quite difficult and you've got to keep trying to score runs.

"[Smith] has been hard work to get out. You look back at moments which could have gone differently and ultimately he's probably been the difference this Test match."

Josh Hazlewood picked up three late wickets to scupper England's fightback with the bat on day three as Australia maintained their grip on the fourth Ashes Test.

Rory Burns and Joe Root made 81 and 71 respectively as they shared in a 141-run stand in England's reply to Australia's mammoth first-innings total of 497-8 declared.

Yet both well-set batsmen departed before the close – while Jason Roy's Test match troubles continued despite dropping down the order – as the hosts slipped to 200-5, still 98 shy of the follow-on target.

Hazlewood claimed all four wickets to fall during Friday's shortened play after the first session was lost to rain, including picking up his 50th Ashes scalp when he tempted nightwatchman Craig Overton (5) into an edge that was comfortably pouched by double centurion Steve Smith at second slip.

However, that proved to be the tourists' only success in an extended afternoon session, Burns and Root combining to deliver England's highest partnership in the series so far.

That is not to say the batsmen had it easy, though. Burns was peppered with short balls, the opener managing to weather the storm through a mixture of skill and determination, as well as the occasional slice of good fortune.

Still, it was Root who was seemingly in the firing line. The England captain was grateful to his protective box after being struck in a particularly sensitive area, the protective piece of equipment splitting with the force of the blow.

He also took a delivery flush on the knee during an excellent Pat Cummins spell that ended without reward, the bowler's cause not aided by an edge off Root's bat going between wicketkeeper Tim Paine and first slip David Warner, neither moving as the ball flew away to the boundary.

But, after replacing his luckless team-mate, Hazlewood (4-48) produced an impressive late burst to change the complexion of proceedings.

Burns was the first to go when he fended a rising delivery to Smith, leaving the score at 166-3, while Root fell just nine runs later when a full delivery nipped back to trap him lbw.

Roy's switch from the top to the middle order failed to result in an immediate upturn in form, the right-hander bowled emphatically by Hazlewood for 22.

Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow made sure there were no further losses before stumps, meaning the duo will resume on seven and two not out respectively on Saturday.

Rory Burns and Joe Root dug in as Australia could only dismiss nightwatchman Craig Overton in a long afternoon session on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

Josh Hazlewood removed Overton in the second over of the day after no play was possible before lunch due to rain, reducing England to 25-2 in reply to 497-8 declared.  

Burns (62 not out) and Root (47no) prevented any further damage from being done, getting England through to 125-2 at tea with an unbroken stand of 100 in Manchester.

Mitchell Starc was expensive as Burns and Root frustrated the tourists on a slow, dry pitch, but England trail by 372 runs as they strive to avoid a defeat that would put Australia 2-1 up - and ensure they retain the urn.

Hazlewood wasted no time in dismissing Overton when play finally got under way, the nightwatchman edging to day-two double-centurion Steve Smith to become the paceman's 50th Ashes victim.

Burns was rapped on the glove by Burns as the Australia fast bowlers peppered him with short stuff, which the disciplined opener coped with impressively.

Lyon generated turn as he engaged in a battle with Root, who was much more at ease facing the quicks with the floodlights on in fading light.

The runs flowed more freely after a drinks break and Burns reached 50 for the third time in the series with two boundaries in an over from a struggling Starc.

Root ticked along but almost chopped on to Lyon - who was cheered by the crowd every time he caught the ball after a costly spill at Headingley - before the captain's box was cracked by a fast ball from Starc.

The skipper pulled Hazlewood for four and was closing in on a half-century at the end of an excellent session for England, who still have plenty of hard work to do.

Joe Root admitted Jason Roy "might be better suited at four" as England look to remedy their top-order woes with another batting rejig for the fourth Ashes Test.

Joe Denly had already confirmed he will be promoted to open at Old Trafford this week, while the more aggressive Roy will come in at four in the second change to England's top order in the space of four Tests.

Roy, an ODI star in the Cricket World Cup triumph earlier this year, has averaged just 9.50 in the three Ashes Tests in which he has opened and so Denly, who originally shifted from three to four before the series started, will now face the new ball alongside Rory Burns.

It is a move which England's number three Root hopes can bring out the best of Roy in the longest format.

"Openers have struggled in English conditions," the England captain said at a news conference.

"It's not just us, you look at other sides that have come over and the openers have not performed.

"Jason is a high-quality player, we all know that, but he might be better suited at four. Joe has played good cricket all summer, he's got himself in and looked very good in the second innings [at Headingley], so hopefully he can go and get us off to a good start with Rory.

"We think [Roy] might be suited to the middle order, having seen the evidence over the last three games, so it's a great opportunity for him to make the position his own.

"We've all seen what he can do in international cricket when he gets himself in, hopefully batting a little lower down allows us to do that."

Somerset seamer Craig Overton will replace Chris Woakes for the fourth Test in the only change for England, who levelled the five-match series at 1-1 with a thrilling one-wicket win at Headingley last time out.

England have turned to Craig Overton for the crucial fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Old Trafford, with Chris Woakes the man to miss out.

Speaking at the pre-match news conference on Tuesday, captain Joe Root confirmed Somerset's tall seamer Overton, 25, will feature in a five-day match for the first time since March 2018.

The hosts' batting struggles have been more pronounced, but all-rounder Woakes will drop out of the attack having taken just two wickets at Headingley across 22 overs and scoring a combined six runs with the bat.

Overton has featured in three Tests for England and he dismissed current Australia quartet Steve Smith, David Warner, Tim Paine and Pat Cummins in the last Ashes series.

"At this ground, I think it does perform differently, an extra bit of bounce that a tall bowler gives you, I think that balances out our attack in these sorts of conditions," said Root.

"[Overton] is a competitor. We saw him come into Ashes cricket on debut and straight away looked at home, got himself in a battle and I expect him to do just that this week.

"He's got good control, good skills and can move the ball off straight and I expect him to cause some issues for the Aussie batters."

Though the series is level at 1-1, the manner of England's incredible one-wicket victory at Headingley in the third Test suggests the momentum will be with Root's team at Old Trafford.

"You come off the back of a win like that, it's a big win for the whole squad - for it to happen in the way it did, for us to turn up here with confidence and very much alive in this series," added Root.

"The way we played the week before at Lord's, it started to feel like we were wresting our way back into the series.

"Last week I think we made quite a lot of mistakes and we didn't get it right but through some individual brilliance and resistance in our batting in the second innings, and high-quality bowling throughout - bar the odd spell here and there - we still managed to win in a way

"If we can bring those two performances together it feels like we'll be in a really good place this week as well."

Ben Stokes has climbed to a career-high second in the ICC's Test all-rounder rankings after his sensational display for England in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.

England superstar Stokes made an unbeaten 135 and carried the hosts to a scarcely believable one-wicket win over Australia to level the series at 1-1 after three matches.

The Durham man's reward was his highest ranking of second in the all-rounders' chart behind Jason Holder on Tuesday.

Stokes was also on the move in the batting standings, surging up to another career best of 13th.

Other Ashes stars on the rise included Jofra Archer catapulting up to 43 in the bowling rankings after just his second Test appearance.

Joe Root climbed to number seven among batsmen, where Steve Smith still trails Virat Kohli at the top of the standings. Pat Cummins remains the best bowler.

Test action elsewhere saw some more big movers. Tom Latham was up five to eighth in the batting rankings after a stunning 154 led New Zealand to an innings-and-65-run thrashing of Sri Lanka in the second Test in Colombo, while Jasprit Bumrah returned second-innings figures of 5-7 in India's 318-run win over West Indies in Antigua to jump nine places to seventh among bowlers.

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