Tue, Dec 26, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Curran to make England Test debut in Melbourne


England fast bowler Tom Curran’s competitive nature has earned him a Test debut ahead of the speedy Mark Wood in the fourth Ashes match against Australia today, replacing the injured Craig Overton, captain Joe Root said on Monday.

Overton was struck in the ribs while batting in the second Test in Adelaide and aggravated the area further while fielding in the third Test in Perth, with scans revealing a fracture.

Australia have already reclaimed the Ashes with their innings and 41-run victory in Perth giving them an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

Curran, who made his Twenty20 debut in June and then played his first one-day international in September, was an injury replacement for Steven Finn, who withdrew before the first Test with a knee injury.

Root said the selection of the South-African born fast-medium bowler was very much a gut decision.

“Sometimes as a captain you have to go with your gut and he really hit home with me this week,” Root told reporters. “It wasn’t an easy decision. We certainly [spent] a while thinking about it, trying to weigh up what was going to be the best way to go about it in these conditions and on this surface. He does get the ball to move around a little bit. He’s always in the contest. That’s one thing that really stands out to me — he will at no point hide away from any challenge if it does become very hard. He’ll give it absolutely everything.”

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