Ashes 2023: England Named Powerful Squad For Oval Test

England has named an unchanged 14-man squad for the fifth Ashes Test at the Kia Oval as they seek to bounce back from the disappointment of drawing in Manchester and aim to secure a victory to square the series. Despite delivering a “pretty much perfect” performance throughout the fourth Test, captain Ben Stokes said England could not force a win at Old Trafford due to heavy rain. Only 30 overs were possible on day four, and there was no play on day five, resulting in Australia retaining the urn with one Test to spare.

While England’s hopes of winning the series have diminished, they are determined to deny Australia their first Ashes series win on English soil since 2001. The fifth Test at The Oval holds great significance for both teams, as a win would salvage a 2-2 draw, which sounds much better than a 3-1 defeat.

The team, however, faces a fitness concern regarding Chris Woakes, who has been instrumental in the two matches he played and is the side’s second-leading wicket-taker with 12 wickets. Woakes has reported feeling quad stiffness and will be evaluated before the Test.

Having returned to Test cricket in the Headingley Test after an absence since March 2022, Woakes admitted to feeling extremely sore after bowling 35 overs across the match. He expressed confidence in managing back-to-back Tests and assured that the adrenaline and occasion would drive him through. However, with an upcoming World Cup in India, England may weigh the risks of playing one of their key all-format players.

“There are some tired bodies and we have a short period until the Oval so we will have to see who is fit then,” Stokes told the BBC.

England squad for the fifth Test: Ben Stokes (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Josh Tongue, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

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