Craig Overton replaces Chris Woakes in England starting XI for fourth Ashes Test

Craig Overton
Craig Overton

England have made one change to their side for the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford, with Craig Overton coming into the team in place of Chris Woakes.

The Somerset paceman was drafted into the squad following confirmation that James Anderson would not be able to return in the series due to a calf injury and is brought straight into the team.

England captain Joe Root says Overton's height was a deciding factor and also hopes his previous Ashes experience - during the last tour of Australia - will stand him in good stead.

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"This ground does perform slightly differently with an extra bit of bounce and a taller bowler will give us an extra option to go to," Root said.

"I feel like that balances out our attack really well in these conditions.

"Craig is a competitor. You saw him come into Ashes cricket on debut and straight away he looked very much at home. He got himself in a battle and I expect him to do that this week.

"I expect him to cause some issues for the Aussie batters."

Root also confirmed the expected switch of positions for Joe Denly and Jason Roy, with the latter moving down to bat at number four after struggling as an opener in the series so far.

Root is confident Roy can make the number four position his own.

"Jason is a high-quality player, we all know that, and he might be better suited at four," Root said.

"I think to play in an Ashes series is very exciting and he was extremely excited to get the chance to open the batting, but I think that he might be better suited for the middle order on the evidence we have seen over the last three games.

"It's a great opportunity for him to make it his own and we have seen him play enough international cricket to know what he can do when he gets himself in, so hopefully batting lower down allows him to do that.

"Joe (Denly) has played some good cricket throughout the summer, he has got himself in and he was very good in that second innings (at Headingley).

"It's a great opportunity for him to get us off to a good start with Rory (Burns)."

Steve Smith has returned to Australia's squad after being forced to miss the Headingley Test following the concussion he suffered when hit by a Jofra Archer bouncer at Lord's.

Root is looking forward to seeing the pair go head-to-head again.

"For everyone watching I'm sure it will be an exciting contest between two world-class players," he added.

"What that Headingley win has done is make this a very special week this week and a great opportunity for us to build on what was a great win and carry that forward.

"I thought the way we performed in that second innings was more what we are about as a team and as a batting group.

"It's a great opportunity for us to do that in the first innings this time around."

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