Trott set for high-stakes Ashes debut

Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott will make his Test debut in the Ashes decider next week after the selectors ignored calls for change.

Trott, 28, has been retained in the party for the Brit Oval - having been released from the squad for the Headingley Test, which England lost to Australia by an innings.

That result means England now have to win the fifth match of the npower series to regain the famous urn.

The only alteration to the squad which was selected for the fourth Test, in fact, is the recall of spinner Monty Panesar - in place of out-of-form batsman Ravi Bopara.

"The final Test match is an absolutely vital game for the team with so much at stake, and we have had to make some difficult selection decisions in choosing our squad for The Brit Oval," said national selector Geoff Miller.

"Ravi Bopara has been going through a tough time with the bat in this series, and we have decided to leave him out of the squad for this game.

"He will be extremely disappointed but remains very much part of our plans for the future, and I am sure he has the talent and temperament to regain his place in the side.

"Ravi's omission means Jonathan Trott will make his Test debut.

"Having been part of the squad at Headingley, he was the next batsman in line in our view - and this rewards him for the excellent form he has shown in county cricket both this summer and with England Lions over the winter.

"Ian Bell will bat at three next week, which is a position he has occupied for England before, and we were delighted to see both him and Jonathan make centuries for Warwickshire this week."

England have resisted naming extra batting cover in case all-rounder Andrew Flintoff's troublesome right knee gets worse.

Veteran Mark Ramprakash, of Surrey, and Kent captain Robert Key were both in the frame - along with Trott - to come into the party.

But there is plenty of competition for places among the bowlers for a match in which taking 20 wickets is imperative.

New-ball duo Flintoff and James Anderson (hamstring) are expected to link up again after being checked by the medical team last week.

"Andrew Flintoff and James Anderson's injuries are much improved with rest and treatment, and we anticipate both players will be fit and available for selection next Thursday," Miller confirmed.

England's 14-man squad for the fifth npower Ashes Test against Australia at the Brit Oval:

AJ Strauss (captain, Middlesex), JM Anderson (Lancashire), IR Bell (Warwickshire), SCJ Broad (Nottinghamshire), PD Collingwood (Durham), AN Cook (Essex), A Flintoff (Lancashire), SJ Harmison (Durham), G Onions (Durham), MS Panesar (Northamptonshire), MJ Prior (wkt, Sussex), RJ Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), GP Swann (Nottinghamshire), IJL Trott (Warwickshire)

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