England have named an unchanged squad for the final Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval this week.
Australia retained the Ashes after a 185-run victory at Old Trafford saw them go 2-1 up in the series with one match left to play.
The selectors have resisted attempts to draft in new players as they look to tie the series and prevent the tourists from recording a first outright win in England since 2001.
They have decided to retain the same XI as well as Sam Curran and Chris Woakes, who missed out in Manchester.
While further changes to an already depleted bowling line-up were always unlikely, there had been some expectation of alterations to the top seven, where Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler have all endured various struggles.
Dominic Sibley of Warwickshire and Kent’s Zak Crawley have both impressed the selectors at the top of the order but will not get a chance to make their debut in the final game of the international season.
There had also been calls to recall Surrey duo Ollie Pope and Ben Foakes to play on their home ground.
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Pope has been in good form and hit an unbeaten double hundred in the County Championship while Bairstow’s form with the bat has seen Foakes discussed as a replacement.
Any combination of those four players may yet be seen on the winter tour to New Zealand, but serious surgery to the squad has been delayed.
England squad for fifth Ashes Test
- Joe Root
- Jofra Archer
- Jonny Bairstow
- Stuart Broad
- Rory Burns
- Jos Buttler
- Sam Curran
- Joe Denly
- Jack Leach
- Craig Overton
- Jason Roy
- Ben Stokes
- Chris Woakes
Question marks remain over the fitness of Ben Stokes, who injured his right shoulder over the weekend and did not bowl in Australia’s second innings.
England are due to assess him over the next 48 hours but his batting, which brought a century at Lord’s and a contender for the best ever Test innings at Headingley, would surely guarantee his role as a specialist in the top five.
What it would call for is a change elsewhere, with Woakes or Curran drafted in as an all-rounder with a batsman forced to make way.
Roy would be an obvious candidate given his travails, but it may also be possible to switch the gloves around and retain Buttler at Bairstow’s expense.