MCG holds no fears for Crane
Mason Crane is adamant that he is 'ready' to make his England debut against Australia at the MCG in the Ashes Test on Boxing Day.
The 20-year-old Hampshire spin bowler has watched from the sidelines as Joe Root's side have relinquished the Ashes urn to their rivals as they trail 3-0 in the current series Down Under.
The target for the tourists is to avoid another 5-0 whitewash in the remaining two Test matches, starting in Melbourne over the festive period.
But with Craig Overton set to miss out because of a rib injury and Jake Ball dropped after a disappointing display in the first Test defeat in Brisbane, an opportunity for Crane or seamer Tom Curran is in the offing.
And, despite the unnerving prospect of being thrown into a first Test outing in front of over 90,000 spectators at the MCG, Crane insists he will be ready if called upon.
He said: "It will be awesome if I do get the chance to play ... I've been ready for every game, so I'm feeling confident."
Crane, who has experience of playing in Australia in the Sheffield Shield for New South Wales and featured in England's tour matches this winter, added: "It's been frustrating I can't contribute directly in the game, and obviously it was heart-breaking that we've lost the series already.
"But these next two games are actually a really good opportunity to show what we are about, and we can compete."
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.