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Australia to bat first as Curran makes Test debut

246   //    26 Dec 2017, 04:55 IST
TomCurran - Cropped
England paceman Tom Curran

Australia captain Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bat in Melbourne as Tom Curran was officially handed his Test debut for England.

For the first time this Ashes series, Joe Root lost the toss, and his team – who have already given up the urn – face a huge battle at the MCG.

A flat wicket and hot weather are expected on the opening day of the fourth Ashes Test, with the pitch expected to be excellent for batting.

Both teams had confirmed their sides prior to the toss, with Jackson Bird replacing Mitchell Starc (heel) for Australia.

Curran will make his Test debut for England in place of Craig Overton (rib).

There were some reported fitness concerns over Moeen Ali, but he will take his place.

While Australia are eyeing a series whitewash, the tourists desperately need to restore some pride.

Australia: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (c), Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird.
England: Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Joe Root (c), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

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