By BV Swagath
England has made three changes to its squad for the Fifth and Final Ashes Test at The Oval in London which is to begin on the 21st. Two of the changes made from the squad for the 4th Test at Durham are forced ones with all-rounder Tim Bresnan ruled out with a back injury and seamer Graham Onions breaking a finger.
Tall fast bowler Steven Finn comes back in the team after losing his place at Nottingham. Apart from him, all-rounder Chris Woakes, who has played 13 ODIs and 4 T20Is, makes it to the Test Squad. There is a rookie in the squad in the form of 24-year-old Simon Kerrigan, who is a left-arm spinner from Lancashire. Kerrigan gets his opportunity following the recent disciplinary problems faced by Monty Panesar.
England is sitting pretty going into the 5th Test having sealed off the Ashes 3-0. Commenting on the squad, National Selector Geoff Miller according to the ECB website is quoted as “The players have produced some good cricket in this Investec Ashes series so far and should be congratulated on their performances but I have no doubt that the squad will be determined to finish this series with another strong performance this week and will be working hard in the build up to Wednesday.
"The inclusion of five pace bowlers as well as an additional spinner in Simon Kerrigan, who has impressed with Lancashire and England Lions in recent years, gives Andy Flower and Alastair Cook plenty of options once they have assessed the conditions at the Kia Oval.
“Tim Bresnan has made valuable contributions with both bat and ball during the series and I would like to wish him all the very best in his recovery from his back injury. The focus for Bresnan now will be the tour of Australia later this year while this Test will provide an opportunity for another member of this squad to make equally vital contributions.”
England Squad: Alastair Cook (Captain), Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (Wicket Keeper), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Chris Tremlett, Simon Kerrigan, Steven Finn, Chris Woakes