Chris Woakes out for England, Mason Crane to make Test debut: Root

Seamer Chris Woakes has been ruled out with a side strain opening the way for young leg-spinner Mason Crane to make his debut for England in Thursday's final Ashes Test against Australia.

Published: 03rd January 2018 12:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd January 2018 12:00 PM   |  A+A-

England's spinner Mason Crane (L) bowls to Cricket Australia XI batsman Matthew Short as Will Pucovski (R) looks on during the first day of a four-day Ashes tour match at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville on November 15, 2017. | AFP

By AFP

SYDNEY: Seamer Chris Woakes has been ruled out with a side strain opening the way for young leg-spinner Mason Crane to make his debut for England in Thursday's final Ashes Test against Australia.

England skipper Joe Root confirmed 20-year-old Crane will play following the injury setback to Woakes.

Woakes had scans on his injured left side on Wednesday and was ruled out of the Sydney Test as the tourists seek to win their first Test win of the series.

The Warwickshire paceman missed a significant part of England's home season after straining his side during last year's Champions Trophy and pulled up sore after last week's fourth Melbourne Test.

Woakes has taken 10 wickets at 49.5 in the four Tests and scored just 114 runs through seven innings batting number eight at an average of 16.28.

But he is a key member of England's limited-overs sides -- and with both a one-day international series and a Twenty20 tri-series to follow over the next month, England are not prepared to risk him.

"More than anything it's making sure he's not out for a significant period of time like he was throughout the summer," Root told reporters on Wednesday.

"It gives him another week to get himself right and hopefully that's the case and he's fit and ready to go when those games come around."

Crane, who has made two Twenty20 appearances, comes into the Test having taken five wickets for New South Wales at the SCG last year while playing Sydney club cricket.

"The way he went about those Twenty20s shows he is right up for international cricket and he's not someone that is going to back down from any challenge," Root said.

"He's performed very well when he's had his opportunities on this trip."

England coach Trevor Bayliss this week indicated Crane was in line to debut when he told reporters: "There's maybe no time like the present to find out.

"We think he's a guy that has got the goods, and the more he plays at this level the better he will get. You've got to start somewhere."

The injury to Woakes is likely to give the out-of-sorts Moeen Ali another chance.

Moeen has played 48 Tests and came to Australia as an accomplished all-rounder but he has underperformed, taking only three wickets and averaging 19 with the bat.

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