England have kept out Ollie Robinson, their leading wicket-taker in Ashes 2021 so far, for the fourth Ashes Test against Australia in Sydney, starting January 5 (Wednesday). Assistant coach Graham Thorpe today confirmed that both Robinson, who has taken nine wickets at 26 for the series so far, and Chris Woakes have been nursing shoulder niggles going into the New Year’s Test.
Robinson’s exit has made way for veteran quick Stuart Broad into the attack which also features Mark Wood, James Anderson and spinner Jack Leach. The bowling attack, which has looked below-par so far, will have a point against in-form Australia’s batting.
“We felt like it was too much of a risk to go in with a couple of lads who are carrying niggles. So therefore, it was right to bring Stuart back in,” Thorpe said.
With Rory Burns and Ollie Pope already dropped from the side following the second Test in Adelaide, Dan Lawrence is the only frontline batter in the squad who is yet to play in this series.
Graham Thorpe said both Broad and vice-captain Ben Stokes, who is averaging 16.83 with the bat and has taken just four wickets at 62.25, have points to prove at the SCG as England look to pick up a consolation win.
Meanwhile, Australia have already wrapped up the series winning the first three matches out of the five-match Ashes series.
England XI: Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Mark Wood, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson