Roy axed as England seek redemption in final Ashes Test

Megan Schutt

Megan Schutt

Captain Joe Root said England's year could still be judged a success even if they fail to level the Ashes series against Australia by winning the final Test at the Oval.

"Yes we are fully focussed on doing everything we can to finish the series 2-2 but in terms of my own captaincy I know the direction I want to take this team moving forward".

England have been forced to rejig the balance of their side because of a shoulder injury to all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Meanwhile, England has run out of patience with Jason Roy, replacing him with all-rounder Sam Curran. Batting first for the first time in the series, Stafanie Taylor's side was bundled out for 180 in 50 overs - a marginally better effort than their previous two outings - which Australia overcame in just the 32nd over through half-centuries to Alyssa Healy (61) and Meg Lanning (58 not out). Australia have made one change to their squad for the 5th Test, with Travis Head being replaced by Mitchell Marsh.

"You can't just give them that experience, they have to earn that and we're very thankful to have Steve batting", he said.

He has scored 110 runs in eight innings with a top score of 31 at Old Trafford when he dropped down the order. "I'm sure he'll have that attitude and try and prove a point", England captain Joe Root told a news conference on Wednesday.

"But ultimately we need to focus on the core group of players that are going to lead this team forward both home and away and build from that and towards winning in Australia".

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Root must have thought he had cracked it when his attacking "total cricket" policy brought a 3-0 victory over Sri Lanka last winter, but they then lost to West Indies before an Ashes series that followed far too quickly after the high of the World Cup. We came here to win the Ashes, not just retain them. "We have spoken a lot about it".

"Last week's result at Old Trafford was brilliant and we played very well, but all the guys are aware that this Test is bigger than that one".

Root said England were trying to find a chink in the armour of the former Australia skipper, who is the top-ranked batsman in the world.

"Sometimes you get outplayed and we've had some challenges across the summer".

ENGLAND: Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad.

Critics would say recalibrating sights is a standard distraction tactic when flak is flying and that keeping hold of the rudder could be hard this week with Tim Paine's side looking for a place in history as the first winners here since 2001.

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