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."

David Beckham has described the role of England manager as "a dream job".

The 44-year-old won 115 senior caps for the Three Lions, 58 of which came while he held the captain's armband between 2000 and 2006.

The ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid star decided not to pursue a coaching career after retiring in 2013, with his most recent involvement in football coming through his MLS franchise Inter Miami, who are expected to start life in the United States' top tier in 2020.

However, it seems Beckham could be persuaded to try his hand at management if the England job became available.

When asked if he had ever considered managing old club United, he told GQ: "I think some people within the FA saw me possibly as a future England manager, just because maybe I had had a successful career being England captain.

"If someone turned around to me and said, 'If the England job came up, would you take it?', I mean, of course I would think about it, because I'm a passionate Englishman and I'm passionate about our national side, but would I be any good at it? Who knows?"

For now, Beckham is happy to leave the national team under the guidance of Gareth Southgate, a former team-mate of his at international level.

"It's a dream job, but Gareth is doing the most incredible job for us right now. He's brought energy and excitement back into the game and the fans – myself included – are enjoying that."

Under Southgate, England reached the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1990, losing 2-1 to Croatia after extra time in Moscow at the 2018 tournament.

They then qualified for the inaugural Nations League Finals, which took place in Portugal this year, where they finished third after a penalty shoot-out win over Switzerland in the bronze-medal match.

England face Bulgaria and Kosovo on September 7 and 10 in Euro 2020 qualifying.

England will be hoping to build on the momentum given to them by Ben Stokes' brilliant match-winning innings at Headingley when they renew their rivalry with Australia in the fourth Ashes Test.

Stokes steered England to an improbable one-wicket success with an unbeaten 135, compiling an unbroken 76-run stand with last man Jack Leach to level the series at 1-1.

Having missed out on the chance to retain the urn in Leeds, Australia will hope to get back on track at Old Trafford, where Steve Smith is expected to return from his concussion-enforced absence.

Here we look at the key Opta numbers ahead of the two teams' next meeting in Manchester.

 

6 - Australia are unbeaten in their past six Test matches against England at Old Trafford, winning three and drawing three. Their last defeat there came in the 1981 Ashes.

11 - However, England are also on a good run at the venue having not lost any of their previous 11 Tests (W9 D2) since a defeat to Pakistan in 2001.

57 - After making his best ever score against Australia last time out, Stokes is now averaging 57 in his 12 innings this calendar year.

242 - Rory Burns has been the most productive opener in a series where top-order batsmen have largely struggled. Burns has scored 242 runs, 163 more than anyone else who has opened - (David Warner 79, Jason Roy 57, Cameron Bancroft 44 and Marcus Harris 27).

9 - Bouncers have played a big part in this series and Australia paceman Pat Cummins has used them to great effect, with nine of his 17 dismissals coming from a short ball. The other bowlers have only combined for four dismissals via that method.

2001 - Should Australia win at Old Trafford, they will ensure they retain the urn and avoid an Ashes series loss in England for the first time since 2001.

58 - England's Jonny Bairstow needs just 58 more runs to reach 4,000 in Test cricket.

357 - Nathan Lyon has now taken the third-most wickets of any Australian bowler in Tests after moving beyond Dennis Lillee at Headingley. He now trails only Glenn McGrath (563) and Shane Warne (708).

378 - No batsman has scored more runs in the recently formed ICC Test Championship than Smith, whose 378 in the Ashes have come at an average of 126.

England defender Kieran Trippier believes Tottenham will regret allowing him to move on to Atletico Madrid.

The World Cup star had a rocky season for Spurs last term, despite the team reaching the Champions League final.

Boss Mauricio Pochettino did not stand in the way of Trippier heading to Atletico, yet he could have used a specialist right-back on Sunday in the north London derby.

Tottenham had to field Davinson Sanchez in that role against Arsenal, with the centre-back out of his comfort zone in the 2-2 draw, while Trippier was helping Atletico to a 3-2 win over Eibar in LaLiga.

"I just feel that Tottenham probably got rid of me at the wrong time," Trippier said. "I just needed that four-week rest for recovery because I was struggling with injuries to come back, fresh, ready.

"It's disappointing. I gave everything for the club and I wanted to stay. I had another couple of years left. But everything happens for a reason.

"I heard rumours about them selling me and it's not nice. At the time, we were going through the Champions League campaign - Manchester City, Ajax away."

Trippier, quoted in several English newspapers, said he spoke with his wife and brother and decided to wait until the close season before approaching Pochettino about his future.

"I tried to speak to the chairman about it and when I spoke to the manager about his plans and I didn't get a yes and I didn't get a no. So you get the impression," he added.

"Me and the manager didn't leave on bad terms, he has done a lot for me and I respect him highly."

Former Burnley player Trippier, who began his career in Manchester City's academy, admitted his form at times last season was shaky.

But working with Atletico boss Diego Simeone looks sure to iron out any tactical weaknesses, with the Argentinian renowned for his strict regimen.

Trippier, 28, said: "For a defender I don't think there's a better place in the world to be."

Australia could struggle to shift a Headingley hangover that will have their bowlers doubting whether they can finish the job and win the Ashes, ex-England bowler Simon Jones has said.

Tim Paine's team were just one wicket away from retaining the urn in Leeds and England still needed 73 when last man in Jack Leach joined Ben Stokes at the crease, the two sharing an incredible stand to guide the hosts to their highest ever successful Test chase.

England bowler Stuart Broad said the manner of the team's success had shifted momentum in the series ahead of the fourth Test, which begins at Old Trafford on Wednesday, and Australia coach Justin Langer admitted it felt like the Ashes had been "stolen" from them.

Jones was in a similarly tight Test in 2005 when a two-run win at Edgbaston inspired England to a famous series success, and he told Omnisport doubt could be creeping into the Australia ranks 14 years on.

"I'm sure the Aussies will have more questions than we did...'Why couldn't we take those last couple of wickets?'" said Jones, who was speaking on behalf of Specsavers, the official Test partner of the England cricket team.

"So that's the biggest question they will be asking themselves. They might doubt each other as a bowling unit.

"They're still a very good outfit, they really are."

Australia had their opportunities to take the final wicket they needed in Leeds before Stokes crunched a four to complete a remarkable success.

Marcus Harris failed to take a difficult chance to remove Stokes, Nathan Lyon squandered an easy opportunity to run out Leach and Paine's wasteful use of the review system meant he was unable to challenge an lbw decision against Stokes that would have gone in Australia's favour.

"I think the Aussies will be thinking a little bit about what went wrong in that last Headingley Test," Jones added.

"They don't want to be doing that. You've just got to try and clear your head and move on.

"But it's a natural thing. I think England are in a slightly better position at the moment."

Stuart Broad cannot wait to see Jofra Archer bowl to Steve Smith in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

The prolific Smith will return to Australia's team in Manchester on Wednesday, having been ruled out of the third Test with concussion after he was struck on the neck by a hostile Archer delivery at Lord's.

Archer's duel with Smith, whose three innings in the series have yielded scores of 144, 142 and 92, made for fascinating viewing, although Australia's star batsman has been keen to make the point he was not dismissed by the Test debutant.

Broad is now excited to witness what happens next, as England aim to build on their series-levelling win at Headingley that owed much to Ben Stokes' heroics.

 

"First thing, it's great Steve is okay and coming back into Test cricket but Test cricket is a brutal sport where countries go hell for leather against each other," Broad was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

"I'm sure when Steve comes in, Jofra will be in [England captain] Joe Root's ear wanting the ball, no doubt about that.

"It was a really tasty bit of cricket at Lord's. Smith was on 80, playing beautifully, and Jofra went from 84mph to 95mph. He was really charging in. That sort of cricket is awesome to watch on the telly or from the stands but when you're stood at mid-on, it's pretty special. Hopefully we can have a battle like that again.

"The dream is someone nicks him [Smith] off first ball and Jofra doesn't get to bowl at him but he doesn't average 60-odd for nothing. There will be a period in this game where those two come together again and - touch wood - I'm on the pitch to view it."

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."

Brian O'Driscoll feels England have "all the attributes" to win a Rugby World Cup, making Eddie Jones' side a "huge threat" in Japan.

England have one World Cup warm-up match remaining against Italy at Newcastle's St James' Park this week, having impressed in recent weeks with home victories over Wales and Ireland.

The defeat of Ireland was particularly striking, with Jones' men running up a record margin of victory over one of the world's best sides.

Manu Tuilagi, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola all starred in that victory and retired Ireland great O'Driscoll, who played at four World Cups, was impressed.

"I feel as if England are in a phenomenal position at the moment," O'Driscoll, a Land Rover ambassador, told Omnisport. "They are playing great stuff, they've got all their main players fit and in rude health, they're trying different combinations.

"If they can go into it with a limited injury list off the back of the final game against Italy, I think they are really humming at the moment and they'll be a very, very difficult team to beat.

"They look fit, they look strong, powerful, good variety to their game.

"I think they've got all the attributes we've seen in other previous World Cup-winning teams if they're able to implement that on the big stage. I think they'll be a huge threat."

Jamie Heaslip, O'Driscoll's ex-Ireland team-mate, similarly sees England challenging in Japan, suggesting injuries have prevented the team from getting the credit they deserve previously.

"Ireland, England and Wales have shown their form over the last two years – particularly England in the last 12 months," said Heaslip, also a Land Rover ambassador.

"People forgot they had a lot of players who were injured. They have a very fit squad right now available for selection.

"Look at Manu Tuilagi and his impact [against Ireland]. You've got Billy Vunipola, who impacts the game at number eight, and Joe Marler and the difference he makes."

As a former number eight, Heaslip has paid particular attention to Vunipola and the balance England have been able to strike in their back row with Tom Curry and Sam Underhill.

"Billy carries unbelievably well – he's so dynamic for such a big man, he's fast, he's got really good footwork – so you need balance," he said.

"I think you saw that [against Ireland]. There was a really balanced back row. That's going to be the trick for Eddie Jones in the back row, finding that balance.

"You can't just carry the ball, you need guys who rook, guys who do some hard yard work at times, and I think England have a very vast pack to be able to do that.

"They've got some players who are really dynamic and I look at that England back row and it's pretty formidable."


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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.

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."

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