The Ashes: Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow could play specialist hitters in fifth test, says Joe Root | Cricket news

Sam Billings will bring ‘energy’ if he makes his Test of England debut in Hobart, said captain Joe Root, who wants his team to build on his CRS draw; Aussie fashion designer Mitchell Starc doesn’t consider resting as Australia seek a 4-0 series win in the pink ball final

Last update: 01/12/22 9:27 a.m.

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England captain Joe Root considers fifth Ashes Test against Australia, discusses Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Sam Billings

England captain Joe Root considers fifth Ashes Test against Australia, discusses Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Sam Billings

Joe Root believes England could face Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow as specialist hitters in the fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia in Hobart.

The Tourists prevented a streak of whitewash with a hard-fought draw in the fourth test in Sydney where all-rounder Stokes (side), wicket keeper Jos Buttler (finger) and Bairstow (thumb) were injured.

Buttler has since returned home, but Bairstow may not be fit enough to take his place behind the stumps, with Sam Billings apparently the favorite to don the gloves.

Stokes scored two half centuries in Sydney while Bairstow reached England’s only 100 in this Ashes series so far in the opening rounds.

Stokes (left) and Bairstow (right) could play only as hitters in the fifth Ash Test

Stokes (left) and Bairstow (right) could play only as hitters in the fifth Ash Test

Ahead of Friday’s final at Blundstone Arena, England captain Root said of Stokes and Bairstow: “We have to assess how they fare over the next couple of days. You can definitely pick Ben as the bat, Jonny too. We have to see where they are at, what their body can handle.

“You have to trust the medical advice. These guys work around the clock to make sure we’re in the best possible position to go and win games and sometimes that makes calls tough.

“We have to make sure they are physically in a place where they can spend five days of hard cricket. It’s good to be fit to play, but you have to be fit to play and that’s what we do. have to work. “

On Billings, who is set to make his testing debut after being snatched from a Big Bash League stint with Sydney Thunder, Root added: “He brings a lot of energy. Smiling constantly, he enjoys his cricket. .

“He’s a great guy to have in the environment and I’m sure if he gets the chance he’ll give it all.”

Root wants England to build on Sydney draw

Root wants his team to build on their draw at SCG, when the last pair of wickers, Stuart Broad and James Anderson, won the last 12 deliveries against the Australian Spinners in the Light of Day to end the hopes of the hosts a 5-0 series sweep.

England haven’t won a test in Australia since January 2011, registering 12 losses and two draws in their previous 14 games in the country.

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Root added: “After three very difficult games where we underperformed, coming back and getting something from the last game showed a great amount of character.

“There was an element of relief in making it through those last few overs, but the desire, the struggle and the pride that everyone showed on that last day is something we need to tap into.

“We have to play like this more often in the five days, not just the last day when everything is on the line, but from the first ball. We have proven to ourselves that we can do it, now can we enjoy it one step forward?

“Can we make sure we’re doing it in a winning cause rather than just trying to save a test match? We’ve got something to lean on, that’s what we need to take from the last match and in this one . “

Tasmania is preparing for

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Tasmania braces for ‘biggest sporting event it has ever seen’ with final Ashes Test set to take place at Blundstone Arena in Hobart

Tasmania braces for ‘biggest sporting event it has ever seen’ with final Ashes Test set to take place at Blundstone Arena in Hobart

Starc: I will not ask for a rest

Mitchell Starc wants to be the only Australian fast bowler to play all five Ashes Tests after declaring himself fit and looking forward to this week’s day-to-night game in Hobart.

Concerns were expressed about Starc’s workload after he took just one wicket in the fourth test in Sydney, but the left gunsmith was quick to laugh at the idea that it was his turn to rest.

England will need a little confidence to get away with a draw, I guess. Obviously a few guys performed pretty well in the test, but the conditions are different here, a different ball. It would have been nice to win last week but it was a fantastic spectacle for cricket and both teams will benefit a lot from this game. Hopefully it’s another fantastic one this week.

Australian fast pitcher Mitchell Starc

“I hope not, it’s a pink ball game,” Starc, who took 52 wickets in nine day-night tests.

“I feel good, I’m not looking for a break. It’s the last Test match of the Ashes series and it’s also the pink ball. I would love to play. I guess it’s in the hands of the coaches. , but I won’t ask for a rest. “

Of Starc’s 15 wickets over the series, including Rory Burns’ spectacular sacking with the first ball from the first Test, six came in the day-night fixture in Adelaide.

“I have always maintained that I found the pink ball to be more like a white ball than a red ball. Whether that comes into play with the way I approach my white ball cricket, I’m not sure.”

Starc wants to be Australia's only fast bowler to play all five Ashes tests

Starc wants to be Australia’s only fast bowler to play all five Ashes tests

Paceman Scott Boland has a rib problem that could rule him out of the Hobart game – the 32-year-old has won 14 wickets in Melbourne and Sydney with an 8.64 average over a career start breathtaking.

Michael Neser and Jhye Richardson, who played with Starc in the series’ opening day-night game in Adelaide, are available to replace Boland if he is excluded.

“Scotty was sensational. The bowlers who came into the squad played from the start, they played their part in a fantastic way,” added Starc.

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