Root content with spin options

03 January 2018 22:34:13 GMTPlus11

England captain Joe Root is confident that playing two spinners will give his side their best chance of winning the fifth Ashes Test against Australia in Sydney.

Leg-spinner Mason Crane will make his Test debut at the SCG, joining Moeen Ali in a two-pronged spin attack which Root expects to enjoy helpful conditions in Sydney, with England aiming to end a lost series on a winning note.

It looks like it should give a bit of turn throughout.

Joe Root

Chris Woakes is the man to miss out, with the seamer suffering with a side strain which the tourists hope is not too serious.

Root told reporters: "Once we saw the surface it was a clear indication of the sort of team we wanted. It looks like it should give a bit of turn throughout.

"Generally it does here anyway, but it looks like it has definitely dried out in the last 24 hours. It should spin, that is why we have gone with two spinners and a leg-spinner could be quite hard work late on in the game.

"You turn up and assess the conditions and this side gives us the best chance of taking 20 wickets."

Of 20-year-old Hampshire leggie Crane, whose international experience to date consists of two T20 internationals against South Africa last summer, Root added: "He's a serious competitor with a really good mental game for Test cricket.

"The way he has conducted himself for the whole trip has been outstanding and the way he went about those T20s in an England shirt shows he is not going to back down from any challenge."

Crane can be backed at 6.00 to be top England first innings bowler at the SCG, with Stuart Broad priced at 3.75 and James Anderson available at 3.25.

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