Saturday, 15 August 2009

Cricket:Uncapped Trott to replace Bopara

Fifth Ashes Test, The Oval: England v AustraliaDates: Thursday, 20 August to Monday, 24 August Start time: 1100 BSTCoverage: Live Test Match Special commentary (from 1025 BST on day one, 1045 BST on remaining days) on BBC Radio 4 LW, 5 Live sports extra, the Red Button and BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobile phones. Also live on Sky Sports.

South Africa-born Trott has played two Twenty20 internationals for England
England are set to take a major gamble in the crucial fifth Ashes Test by replacing Ravi Bopara with the uncapped Jonathan Trott, BBC Sport understands.
Ian Bell, whose place has also been under threat, is set to keep his place and move up the order to number three.
Mark Ramprakash and Rob Key had been touted for call-ups for The Oval.
But Trott has now been left out of the England Lions team to face Australia, adding to speculation he is to win a Test start against the tourists.
Changes had been expected after the humiliating defeat in the fourth Test.
And England, who must win the fifth Test to regain the Ashes, are set to officially announce their squad at 0930 BST on Sunday after a week of intense debate about the make-up of the squad.
The 28-year-old Trott was included in the 14-man squad for the fourth Test at Headingley, but was released to play for Warwickshire.
With 1013 runs in the County championship this season at an average of 92.09, Trott is a player in a rich vein of form - but the decision to throw him in for a Test debut in the high-pressure environment of a decisive Ashes clash is a big gamble for the selectors.
The South Africa-born batsman served a timely reminder of his ability with a century for Warwickshire against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, while Bell made 126 to help his case to retain his place.
Yorkshire's Joe Sayers has taken Trott's place in the second-string Lions side against Australia in a two-day match at Canterbury starting on Saturday.
Bopara's place has been in severe jeopardy, with just 105 runs from his seven innings in the series.
Every batsman has been through a run of low scores and he hasn't managed to really get in and show what he is made of in this series
England coach Andy Flower on Bopara
He showed his fighting spirit and ability with an unbeaten 52 for Essex against Middlesex on Friday, but it appears to have been insufficient evidence for the England selectors.
Nevertheless, England coach Andy Flower has backed the 24-year-old - who had been in fine form against the West Indies earlier in the year - to come through his difficult spell.
"Every batsman has been through a run of low scores and he hasn't managed to really get in and show what he is made of in this series," said Flower.
"It's a tough situation for him but he is a pretty calm bloke, so he's keeping it in perspective."
Trott's elevation to the side has come at the expense of the 39-year-old Ramprakash and Key.
Ramprakash made the last of his 52 Test appearances in 2002, but had indicated he would be available should the selectors require his services.
The Surrey batsman has once again been in prolific form for his county, notching his 108th first-class career century against Derbyshire last week.
His Test statistics, however, make more sober reading, scoring 2350 runs at 27.32, with just two centuries from 92 innings.
Meanwhile, Kent captain Key, who played the last of his 15 Tests for England in January 2005, has also failed to convince the selectors.
Marcus Trescothick had also been mentioned as a possible replacement, but the former England opener ruled himself out of contention earlier in the week.
Trescothick retired from five-day cricket in March 2008 because of a stress-related illness.
The fascination with the state of inspirational all-rounder Andrew Flintoff's knee has been overshadowed by the debate over changes to the batting line-up in the build-up to the Ashes decider.
But Flintoff, who missed the Headingley defeat, should be fit for his final ever Test.
The 31-year-old was examined by specialist Andy Williams on Monday but while the prognosis was encouraging, England said Flintoff will undergo "further rest and intensive treatment" in order to regain his place in the starting XI on Thursday.
Away from the top order, England face further quandaries over the composition of their bowling attack on a pitch which has yet to see a victory in a Championship match all season.
The Oval is traditionally one of the fastest pitches in England, favouring genuine quick bowlers and spinners, rather than swingers.
With Flintoff expected to return, the selectors must decide whether to drop Steve Harmison, who took two wickets on his recall at Headingley, Graham Onions, James Anderson or Stuart Broad.
Anderson failed to take a wicket in the fourth Test, while Broad registered career-best figures of 6-91.
However, Surrey manager Chris Adams suggested the ball will turn at The Oval and told Phil Tufnell's Cricket Show that England should select two spinners from Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar or Adil Rashid.

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