Ashes cricket returns to Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow for the first time in six years and England are on a high after Ben Stokes’ heroics in Leeds nine days ago.
Stokes hit an unbeaten 135 and shared a crucial last wicket stand of 76 with Jack Leach to see his side home by a single wicket, levelling the series in the process.
England will be looking to take a series lead in Manchester this week. If successful, it will be their first Test win over Australia at Old Trafford since 1981.
With the first four days sold out, Joe Root, the England captain, said: “Throughout this whole summer, especially after the World Cup and with this Ashes series, we’ve been blessed with brilliant support everywhere we’ve gone.
“It’s not very often you play in front of a full house on day four of a Test so to hear that 15,000 tickets have been sold for day five this week is brilliant.”
Root confirmed that Chris Woakes will be omitted from the eleven to make way for Somerset bowler Craig Overton.
Commenting on the change, Root explained: “At this ground we perform slightly differently and the taller bowlers can extract more bounce.
“He’s a competitor. When he came into Ashes cricket on debut, he looked at home straight away and got himself into a battle. He has good control and is a skilful bowler. I expect him to do the same.”
England squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Jack Leach (Somerset), Craig Overton (Somerset), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)
Australia squad: Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matt Wade, David Warner