Ashes: England face late appeal on Jonny Bairstow’s fitness for final test in Hobart | Top stories

Ashes: England face late appeal on Jonny Bairstow’s fitness for final test in Hobart

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Stokes will play as a specialist hitter in the day-night test despite side tension, but no decision has yet been made regarding Bairstow, who has hit the net with significant pain this week due to a cracked right thumb and badly bruised.

Bairstow made 113 and 41 in Sydney, facing more balls than any other hitter as England battled to save the game. It was his seventh century of trying, but his first since November 2018 and one that keeps his long-term future alive.

While he is unsurprisingly eager to play, it is uncertain whether he can thrive despite the pain. If he fails, Ollie Pope will return to the side after being dumped for Bairstow after two of five tests.

With jobs on the line among the group of coaches and players, England will make at least four changes, with Sam Billings entering for his debut as a wicket keeper, replacing Jos Buttler, who will see a specialist now that he is back in London with his broken finger. likely to prevent it from entering for at least six weeks.

Rory Burns is back on top of the order in place of Haseeb Hameed, who added a rib injury to a terrible run of form that saw him sacked for single digits in six consecutive innings.

Ollie Robinson and Chris Woakes are also expected to return to the attack in place of Jack Leach, who performed better in Sydney but was ousted by Stokes’ inability to play on a surface that appears very green, and James Anderson, whose the final act as a test cricketer in Australia (after five tours) will block Steve Smith’s final to ensure a draw.

Jonny Bairstow played for England in Sydney but heals a cracked and badly bruised right thumb

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Mark Wood, who will play his third test in a row, said England believe they can win to end the series on a high.

“In this last test match, we’re here to win too,” said Wood. “We didn’t do very well on this trip, but we have a chance to stand up and show some character.”

Australia have confirmed a change in their squad, with Marcus Harris dropped out for Travis Head, who returns to No.5 after missing a test due to Covid-19. This means that Usman Khawaja, a twin centurion in Sydney, moves to open the staff.

Another change is possible, with Scott Boland – who has 14 wickets at 8.64 in his two Tests – a doubt, having to take a final fitness test in the morning.

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