Agar into reckoning for finale

31 December 2017 23:45:15 GMTPlus11

Australia could have Ashton Agar making his first Test appearance on home soil in the final Ashes clash.

Left-arm spinner Agar has been added to what is now a 14-man Test squad for the game at the SCG.

Mitchell Starc is in doubt due to his sore heel, which kept him out of the draw in Melbourne.

We'll turn up there and see what the wicket is; you don't know what you're going to get in Sydney.

Steve Smith

The spearhead is desperate to prove his fitness for the series finale that starts on Thursday.

Either Agar or Starc will likely replace Jackson Bird in the XI, while the selectors are set to resist the temptation to rest youngster Pat Cummins who's made it clear he aims to play all five Ashes Tests this summer.

Both sides will hope the Sydney pitch will not be anywhere near as flat as the docile MCG deck.

Australia captain Steve Smith said: "We'll turn up there and see what the wicket is; you don't know what you're going to get in Sydney. One day it could be green, one day it could spin a bit."

The skipper, who will be playing on his home ground, added: "We've got all options there. We'll wait and see how we go."

The SCG is yet to host a Sheffield Shield game this season, having undergone its first full returf in seven years.

Smith said he was glad Starc hadn't played and suffered further damage in Melbourne, which had been a prospect on a pretty flat wicket.

The left-armer's injury has improved dramatically in recent days and he did some fitness work under the watchful eye of the team's doctor during the lunch break on day five of the fourth Test, hustling through his run-up then pulling out at the delivery stride.

Australia are 1.66 to win the fifth Test, with England 4.50 and the draw 4.33.

Australia are 1.50 to have a first innings lead.

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