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England settled on batsmen, but want runs

No England batsman has scored a century in either of the warm-up matches to start their Ashes tour, a fact captain Joe Root hopes changes in Townsville.

England settled on batsmen, but want runs

No England batsman has scored a century in either of the warm-up matches to start their Ashes tour, a fact captain Joe Root hopes changes in Townsville.

England's batting line up appears settled for the first Ashes Test - now captain Joe Root just wants them to score some runs.

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England will take the same top six into their final warm-up match against an inexperienced Cricket Australia XI on Wednesday as last week's tour match, meaning James Vince and Dawid Malan hold their spots at No.3 and No.5 respectively.


It means the more experienced Gary Ballance's chances of being recalled for next week's first Test are likely over, given he didn't play in either of the first two warm-up games, after being dropped during their summer.

But no English player has made a century triple in any of their three innings on tour to date, despite a number passing 50.

It's something captain Joe Root desperately to change in Townsville this week, especially after they lost 7-47 against a young CA XI last week in Adelaide.

"That's one of the things we really want to get out of this game - guys going on and making big hundreds," said Root.

"If we get the opportunity to do that, that's definitely the mentality of the batting side and that's something we have to have throughout the five Test matches.

"Some would say you don't want to peak too early and get too many runs in these warm-up games.

"But ultimately getting runs here and getting in good habits is the way we have to approach it."

Former captain Alastair Cook has been among England's strugglers early in the tour.

The England opener has scored just 47 runs at 15.66 in three innings, and twice copped balls on the upper body on Tuesday as part of a lengthy throw-downs session.

Senior pacemen James Anderson will miss the Townsville match due to illness, but there's no concern over his availability for the Gabba Test.

Meanwhile Craig Overton is firming to be England's replacement quick if Jake Ball fails to overcome an ankle injury.

Overton will play in the final warm-up match ahead of George Garton and Tom Curran, who have been flown in to replace Ball and fellow injured paceman Steve Finn.

Ball is expected to resume running on Wednesday, with England hopeful he'll be available for selection for next Thursday's Test.

But regardless, Root has been impressed with the work of 25-year-old Overton, who is yet to play a Test.

"He's been brilliant," Root said.

"He's come on this tour and thrown himself into every game and every opportunity whenever he has got the ball.

"He's stood up and really put his hand up to be selected."


AAP




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