Thursday, 9 December 2021

Ashes: Tom Curran to make England Test debut on Boxing Day

Tom Curran

MELBOURNE: Surrey pace bowler Tom Curran will make his England Test debut against Australia on Boxing Day.

The 22-year-old replaces the injured Craig Overton for the fourth Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“He’s a feisty character and he gets the ball to move around a bit,” said England captain Joe Root.

“He’s always in the contest. At no point will he hide away from any challenge. If times become hard he will give it everything.”

The void left by Overton, who has a fractured rib, could have been filled by fellow fast bowlers Jake Ball or Mark Wood.

There was also the option to hand a debut to 20-year-old leg-spinner Mason Crane, but that would have meant changing the balance of the attack.

England have decided against making further changes, despite having already lost the Ashes, with Australia holding an unassailable 3-0 lead.

“This is the best side to win on this surface,” said Root. “Other guys are looking for form, and looking to turn things round, and they have an opportunity to do that this week.

“It’s a great opportunity on such a big stage. It’s an Ashes Test, with so much to play for.”

Australia have also been forced into a change as Mitchell Starc’s heel problem has resulted in a recall for fellow paceman Jackson Bird.

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