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Cricket

Crane replaces Woakes for Ashes finale

13th January 2018, 15:01 by Chris Rivers

England will hand leg-spinner Mason Crane his debut in the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney after losing Chris Woakes to injury.

The 20-year-old's only previous international experience has come in the form of two T20 internationals and he will become the youngest specialist spinner to represent England in 90 years when the final match of the series starts on Thursday.

The Hampshire bowler will be one of two spin options in the team for skipper Joe Root, with all-rounder Moeen Ali keeping his place in the starting line-up.

"It looks like it will give a lot of spin throughout the game," Root told BBC Sport. "It should give a hint of turn and hopefully Mason comes into the game in both innings."

Crane's inclusion comes at the expense of Warwickshire all-rounder Woakes after he was ruled out of the encounter at Sydney Cricket Ground with a side strain.

Root believes that despite his age, Crane is ready for Test cricket and is hopeful he can recreate his performance for New South Wales at the same venue last year when he took five wickets.

"He's very excited, as you would be," added Root. "It's great to see someone so desperate to play for England. It's a great place for him to start his career.

"He's a serious competitor and has a really good mental game for Test cricket - he proved that when he played the T20s last year. Hopefully it can be the start of a long, illustrious career."

Meanwhile, Australia have recalled the fit-again Mitchell Starc for the dead-rubber Test, with Jackson Bird making way.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Chris Rivers is an experienced reporter who closely follows both Arsenal and Wales Rugby Union team. As well as in-depth football and rugby knowledge, Chris is an avid American Football, Formula One and boxing fan.

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