Australia wins toss, chooses to bat first against England

Australia wins toss, chooses to bat first against England

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia won the toss and elected to bat first in the fourth Ashes test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

Australia has already regained the Ashes after winning the first three tests in the five-match series and is chasing a second straight sweep on home soil.

Both teams were forced to make changes to their lineups because of injuries.

Australia replaced left-handed fast bowler Mitchell Starc, who has a bruised right foot, with Jackson Bird, who will play his first test in a year.

England also made one change with paceman Tom Curran selected to make his test debut, replacing Craig Overton, who has a fractured rib.

Curran, 22, has played a one-day international and three Twenty20 matches for England, and was only added to England's Ashes squad when Steve Finn was ruled out at the start of the tour due to injury.

England allrounder Moeen Ali was cleared to play despite injuring his hand during batting practice on Monday.

The Australia captain Steve Smith also hurt his hand in the lead-up the match but was given the all clear to start.

Smith is the leading scorer in the series so far, hitting an unbeaten century in the opening test and a double century in the series-clinching win in Perth.

"The pressure's off a little having won the Ashes," Smith said after the toss. "But winning is a habit."



Australia: Cameron Bancroft, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (captain), Shaun Marsh, Mitch Marsh, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird.

England: Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Joe Root (captain), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

Updated : 2021-04-19 03:10 GMT+08:00