Jason Roy dropped with Ben Stokes to play as batsman only in Ashes finale at The Oval

Will Macpherson
Evening Standard
AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

Ben Stokes will play as a batsman only when England meet Australia in the final Ashes Test at the Kia Oval on Thursday, meaning Jason Roy has been dropped.

Stokes picked up a shoulder injury in the Fourth Test at Old Trafford, where Australia retained the Ashes. He did not bowl in the second innings there but did bowl on Wednesday morning at nets. England have come to the conclusion, however, that it is not worth risking Stokes as a fourth seamer.

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Roy has scored just 110 runs in eight Ashes innings, but improved when dropping down the order from opener to No4 at Old Trafford. Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler have also been short of runs, but Roy is the one to miss out. All-rounder Sam Curran, an ideal fourth seamer, is called into the side.

Craig Overton has also been replaced despite a gutsy performance with the bat at Old Trafford, with Chris Woakes recalled.

Meanwhile, James Anderson says his iconic opening partnership with Stuart Broad is not done yet, despite it being broken up as Australia retained the Ashes.

Anderson pulled up with a calf injury having bowled just four overs in the series and has failed to recover, but Broad has been at his best, picking up 19 wickets, including key opener David Warner six times in eight innings.

The pair have 1,038 Test wickets between them and have been England’s preferred opening combination for a decade. Anderson, 37, has vowed to consider all avenues to make his career as long as possible, including exploring veganism. He wants to play into his forties and says his desire for Test wickets is undimmed.

Anderson said Broad had been doubting himself early this summer, but is full of confidence now and ready to resume their partnership.

“Yes, I don’t see why not,” Anderson said on behalf of Specsavers, the Ashes sponsor. “The way he’s bowled this summer has been world class. I’m really happy for him as well. He probably wasn’t sure he would play in this series.

In the lead-up, talking to him, he wasn’t sure he would be in that first XI. Seeing how hard he’s worked in the last couple of years, he deserves the success he’s had. I’m sure he’s similar to me. He’s still got the hunger to play for a couple more years.”

Australia captain Tim Paine has declared his intention to heap more misery on England. They were waiting to make a call on the make-up of their XI, with concerns over how Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood would respond after a heavy workload.

“We came here to win the Ashes,” Paine said. “We didn’t come here to retain them. It’s nice that we have retained them but we see this as one of our biggest Test matches.”

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