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Crane to replace Woakes in fifth Ashes Test

With Chris Woakes battling a side injury, England will hand a Test debut to Mason Crane in Sydney.

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03 Jan 2018, 08:42 IST
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MasonCrane - Cropped
England leg-spinner Mason Crane

England leg-spinner Mason Crane will make his Test debut in Sydney, replacing injured paceman Chris Woakes.

Crane, who has played two Twenty20s for England, will take on Australia in the fifth Ashes Test starting at the SCG on Thursday.

England captain Joe Root backed the leg-spinner, 20, to shine in place of Woakes, who will miss due to a side injury.

"I think the way he [Crane] has conducted himself throughout this whole trip and since he's been involved in our squads, he's been outstanding," Root told a news conference on Wednesday.

"For a young man to apply himself and absorb himself in the environment as he has is exactly what you're after and I think you can see a big progression in his game since he's been involved in this tour and before.

"The way he went about those Twenty20s he played in an English shirt shows that he's right up for international cricket and that he's not someone that's going to back down from any challenge.

"He's performed very well when he's had his opportunities on this trip and in and around the games, he's been there or thereabouts.

"It's a really good chance for him to show everyone what he's capable of but I think on this surface he's going to be a very good option."

Woakes' injury means the under-fire Moeen Ali is set to retain his spot for the tourists, who trail the series 3-0.

Root said England were unwilling to risk Woakes after the 28-year-old pulled up sore from the drawn Melbourne Test.

"It's obviously quite an important area for any fast bowler so it's important that we look after that and make sure he's 100 per cent and ready to go for when he's fit," he said.

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