James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc Named in Australia Team for 5th Ashes Test
Cricket Australia has confirmed the national side will hand a Test debut to James Faulkner as they attempt to take a glimpse into the future during the fifth Test against England at The Oval.
Already trailing 3-0 in the series, the Ashes are long beyond the reach of Australia, so the next five days will provide the setting on which Faulkner can mount the start of his international career.
He is drafted into the Aussie lineup as one of two alterations. Mitchell Starc also comes into the side, with Usman Khawaja and Jackson Bird the players to make way.
James Faulkner will make his Test debut tomorrow at The Oval, replacing Usman Khawaja. Starc in for Bird the only other change #Ashes— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) August 20, 2013
Tasmanian all-rounder Faulkner bats right-handed but offers a range of left-arm fast medium with the ball, and steps in for a Khawaja who averaged 19 across six innings.
The 23-year-old has played eight ODIs for Australia, averaging 37.25 with the bat and taking 11 wickets. He will bat at No. 7.
Shane Watson will bat at three, with Brad Haddin in at six and Faulkner seven. #Ashes— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) August 20, 2013
Starc has played in two of the four Tests so far, taking eight wickets at an average of 27.12 according to official ECB statistics, while contributing impressively with the bat, registering a high score of 66 not out.
What will be the outcome of the next Ashes series?
Despite having little to play for in the current series, Australia must turn their ship in the right direction quickly ahead of the next Ashes showdown, which begins in Brisbane on November 21.
Former England batsman and wicketkeeper Alec Stewart has issued a warning to the tourists on the eve of the final Test, insisting on BBC Sport England will be determined to blitz their rivals one final time in order to dent confidence ahead of the return tour to Australia.
England will arrive at The Oval on Wednesday morning wanting to secure a historic 4-0 series victory. Generally the final Test of the summer at The Oval produces a special match. The fact that all five days were sold out before Christmas proves it is one of the most popular Test match arenas not only in England, but the world.
Also, and somewhat unusually in Ashes battles, there is the fact that England travel to Australia this winter for an immediate defence of the urn. Events at The Oval could have a small impact on the upcoming series down under, which starts in Brisbane on 21 November.
Chris Tremlett is likely to be pulled into the England XI to replace the injured Tim Bresnan. The team will be confirmed on Wednesday morning.
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