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The Ashes Cricket 2013: Most Important Batsmen Heading into 5th Test

CHESTER-LE-STREET, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11:  England batsman Kevin Pietersen picks up some runs during day three of 4th Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Emirates Durham ICG on August 11, 2013 in Chester-le-Street, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Joe StrangeContributor IAugust 13, 2013

After England wrapped up the Ashes with victory at Chester-le-Street, attentions are already beginning to turn to the fifth and final Test which starts on Wednesday August 21.

The Test, which will now be a dead rubber, takes place at The Oval in London.

While the quality of bowling will be an important factor for both countries, the amount of runs each side can accumulate will have a major say in who comes out on top at the end of the fifth day.

Here we take a look at three of the key batsmen looking to make their mark in the final Test of this summer's Ashes series.

All batting stats courtesy of espncricinfo.com

 

Joe Root, England 

After being England's most impressive player in the second Test, Joe Root will be determined not to let his Ashes series end with a whimper when his side meet Australia at the Oval.

He top-scored with an eye-catching 180 at Lord's but has struggled to recapture that form during the home side's recent innings.

He managed just two runs on his last outing and 16 before that, figures he will no doubt be desperate to improve upon in London.

The move to bump him up the order to open the batting has been a mixed success for England so far, but Root can have a major say in whether or not his country end the series with another Test victory.

 

Kevin Pietersen, England

The South African-born batsman has endured a mixed Ashes series so far, with struggles for form and fitness inhibiting arguably England's most talented player.

Although he scored 113 in England's first innings in the third Test at Old Trafford, he has not backed it up with other large scores.

He also picked up a calf injury during the second Test which hindered his performances in the field and caused him to undergo fitness tests ahead of the Manchester clash.

But, despite his recent troubles, Pietersen remains capable of turning in a Test-winning performance if he finds his best form.

 

Chris Rogers, Australia

One of Australia's best performers in the fourth Test, Chris Rogers will be under pressure to produce another large haul of runs with others struggling around him.

The Aussie managed 110 in the first innings at Chester-le-Street before being caught by Matt Prior, and he'll be aiming for another big performance when the two sides meet again next week.

Although this was Rogers' maiden Test century, it does follow an impressive 84 at Old Trafford, which indicates that he's finding his feet at this level.

The 35-year-old, who now sits atop Australia's batting order, has shown experience and tenacity sorely lacking in some of his fellow batsmen.

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