England still searching for ways to dismiss Steve Smith before Ashes finale

England still searching for ways to dismiss Steve Smith before Ashes finale

Root, 28, averages 30.87 in the series before the fifth and final Test and has yet to score a hundred, while in contrast former Australia captain Steve Smith has chalked up 671 runs at 134.20.

Root stressed that he is fully focussed on trying to secure a series-levelling win against Australia before embarking on what he hopes will be successful winter tours of New Zealand and South Africa.

Marsh was a surprise call-up to the 12-man squad in place of vice-captain Travis Head, with the WA all-rounder set to play and ease the burden on Australia's four-man bowling attack.

"I'm going to save it and I might ring him if we win this one", Paine joked ahead of Oval Test.

'We've not lost anything yet.

Root was adamant that despite the disappointment of failing to win the series, England could still be proud of their achievements over the summer.

"We've got a chance to level this series and make it slightly better than it looks right now".

Body of Robert Mugabe en route from Singapore to Zimbabwe for burial
A vehicle believed to be carrying the body of former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has left a Singapore funeral parlour. The former president had been receiving hospital treatment in the city state before he died last week aged 95.

Australia retained the Ashes title after winning last week's fourth Test at Old Trafford in Manchester.

"In terms of personnel, things might change, as they have done for a while", he said. That's the full focus of this group so we've got to make sure that we win this game.

The Yorkshireman was phlegmatic about the effect of captaincy on his form after a poor series by his standards, saying batting had been tough for both sides.

He has scored 110 runs in eight innings with a top score of 31 at Old Trafford when he dropped down the order. "Either to sulk about it or to do something about it", Australian skipper Tim Paine said. "That is what you expect of guys when they get left out and I'm sure he will have that attitude and want to try and prove a point and get himself back into the side".

"He's played extremely well, not given many chances and we feel like in his first 20 balls we've beaten the bat a lot and it could have been very different".

Joe Root has called on England to send outgoing head coach Trevor Bayliss on his way "with a real big bang" by drawing the Ashes at The Oval.

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