Thursday, 24 October, 2019

Starc back, Smith absent before 5th Ashes Test

England may need to take Moeen Ali out of the firing line says Bob Willis England may need to take Moeen Ali out of the firing line says Bob Willis
Shannon Reynolds | 02 January, 2018, 11:08

'He's played a lot of cricket now, and he knows his body pretty well and what he can get through, ' added Cummins.

Australia seam bowling legend Glenn McGrath believes the Australian selectors and team officials should only bring Mitchell Starc into the fifth Ashes Test if he has fully recovered from the bruised heel.

There are overseas grounds that Cummins might have set foot on more often than the SCG, but on Thursday, after years of heartache, the superstar fast bowler will discover for the first time in his career what it's like to play a Test match on his home soil. Agar memorably made his Test debut in the 2013 Ashes opener in Nottingham, where the then 19-year-old scored a record 99 from No.11.

"I think each match there has been a couple of sessions where either we've clawed back in or they've clawed back in".

Australia is now leading the five-match series 3-0 after the fourth Ashes Test ended in a draw on the final day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

"I don't look back on that (Trent Bridge) too much. They are great memories but I've definitely moved forward since then and I feel like I've improved as a player", he concluded.

Ashton Agar has been added to Australia's squad but the deck is now covered with grass, fuelling expectations the left-arm spinner will be left out of the XI.

"I've been here as a kid watching in the stands so to be out here playing in an Ashes will be pretty special". Life experience and cricket experience, as anyone does.

Israel charges Palestinian teenager with assaulting a soldier
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Property prices race ahead in Cheltenham
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WTI Crude Oil Price Hits 60 bbl, Highest Since Mid
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"I'm 24 now so I'm still reasonably young, but you can't really say that anymore".

Agar has worked with mentor John Davison and Indian spin guru Sridharan Sriram to prepare better for Test cricket. "That's the biggest advantage of the BBL - the pressures and crowds", Agar said in Sydney on Sunday (December 31).

"All you've got is yourself out there and it's certainly grown".

Smith hoped to train on Wednesday.

"We'll turn up there and see what the wicket is", skipper Steve Smith said.

Agar has only played one Sheffield Shield match this season after spending time on the sidelines following a broken finger sustained in Australia's One-Day International tour of India a few months ago.

"We've got all options there".

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