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Page last updated at 08:41 GMT, Sunday, 16 August 2009 09:41 UK

England gamble on uncapped Trott

Fifth Ashes Test, The Oval: England v Australia
Dates: Thursday, 20 August to Monday, 24 August Start time: 1100 BST
Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary (from 1025 BST on day one, 1045 BST on remaining days) on BBC Radio 4 LW, 5 Live sports extra, the Red Button and BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobile phones. Also live on Sky Sports.

Jonathan Trott
South Africa-born Trott has played two Twenty20 internationals for England

England have taken a major gamble for the crucial fifth Ashes Test by replacing Ravi Bopara with the uncapped Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott.

Andrew Flintoff, who missed the defeat at Headingley in the fourth Test with his ongoing knee injury, is expected to play in his final Test match.

Ian Bell keeps his place in the 14-man squad while spinner Monty Panesar has been recalled to the squad.

The series is tied at 1-1 and England must win to regain the Ashes.

Trott had been included in the 14-man squad for the fourth Test at Headingley, but was released to play for Warwickshire.

The 28-year-old was then left out of the England Lions team to face Australia at Canterbury this weekend, adding to the speculation that he would be included in the final Test.

And England national selector Geoff Miller confirmed on Sunday: "Ravi's omission means Jonathan Trott will make his Test debut at the Brit Oval.

"Having been part of the squad at Headingley, he was the next batsman in line in our view and this rewards him for the excellent form he has shown in county cricket both this summer and with England Lions over the winter."


A naturally delighted Trott said: "I'm chuffed.

"I've been playing pretty well this season and I hope I can continue to do so next week.

"I'll try to stay relaxed and let nature take its course and remember it's just a game of cricket.

"The pressure is on Australia to retain the Ashes. We're going for the win and hopefully our positive approach will work."

With 1,013 runs in the County championship this season at an average of 92.09, Trott is a player in a rich vein of form.

But the decision to hand him a Test debut in the high-pressure environment of a decisive Ashes clash is a big gamble for the selectors.

The South Africa-born Trott served a timely reminder of his ability with a century for Warwickshire against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, while Bell made 126 to help his case to retain his place.

Miller added: "Bell will bat at three which is a position he has occupied for England before and we were delighted to see both him and Jonathan make centuries for Warwickshire this week."

I'm extremely optimistic Flintoff will be fine

England selector Geoff Miller

Bopara's place had been in severe jeopardy, with just 105 runs from his seven innings in the series.

"He has been going through a tough time with the bat in this series and we have decided to leave him out of the squad for this game," said Miller.

"He will be extremely disappointed but remains very much part of our plans for the future and I am sure that he has the talent and temperament to regain his place in the side."

Flintoff is expected to play in his final Test match however after an extended rest for his troublesome knee.

"The swelling has gone down on his knee and we're happy with his progress," continued Miller.

"It's always difficult to come through back-to-back Tests with an injury, but he's had more of a rest period so I'm extremely optimistic he will be fine."

England have added to their bowling options by recalling left-arm spinner Panesar and left-arm seamer Sidebottom.

England squad: A Strauss (capt), J Anderson, I Bell, S Broad, P Collingwood, A Cook, A Flintoff, S Harmison, G Onions, M Panesar, M Prior, R Sidebottom, G Swann, J Trott

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see also
Cook and Bopara see Essex to win
14 Aug 09 |  Counties
Watson shines as Aussies dominate
15 Aug 09 |  Cricket
Trescothick rules out Test return
13 Aug 09 |  England
Trott gets surprise England call
04 Aug 09 |  England
Trott and Bell put Bears in game
13 Aug 09 |  Counties
Ramprakash ready for Test call-up
12 Aug 09 |  England
Key 'dreaming' of Ashes call-up
11 Aug 09 |  Cricket
Flower hints at batting changes
09 Aug 09 |  England
Aussies win to level Ashes series
09 Aug 09 |  England

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