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England vs Australia, fourth Test, teams news for Old Trafford, video, cricket news

Todd Murphy has been dropped for the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford, with Australia opting not to pick a strike spinner for the first time in over a decade.

Australia unveiled its starting XI for the Manchester Test on Tuesday, with Cameron Green and Josh Hazlewood returning to the side. Mitchell Marsh has retained his spot after last week’s heroic century at Headingley, while Scott Boland also misses out.

It leaves Australia with five seam options and batting depth down to Alex Carey at No. 8. The last time Australia didn’t select a strike spinner for a Test match was in January 2012.

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Nathan Lyon’s calf injury opened the door for heir apparent Murphy to make his Ashes debut at Headingley, but the young Victorian only bowled 9.4 overs during the three-wicket loss.

“Nathan Lyon is the greatest off-spinner we‘ve ever had, so it’s not quite apples for apples,” Australian captain Pat Cummins told reporters in Manchester on Tuesday.

“We are really excited by Todd, think he‘s fantastic. Would have loved to use him a bit more last week, think conditions just favoured pace bowling.

“We played a Test in Hobart last year in the Ashes where Nath didn‘t bowl an over. It’s all conditions based, we are really excited by Todd, we think he’s a gun, we love having him around, he’s got a big future. It was more conditions or the way I used him, as opposed to how he bowled.”

Cameron Green of Australia. Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Cameron Green of Australia. Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Spin bowlers have averaged 42.46 at Old Trafford over the past decade, compared to 26.98 for seamers, while there is a lingering threat of rain in Manchester this week.

England tweaker Moeen Ali, who will bat at No. 3 at Old Trafford, warned that picking that a frontline spinner was a must, particularly in Manchester.

“You have to play a spinner in a Test match no matter where it is, in my opinion, but Old Trafford especially,” Ali told reporters in Manchester on Monday.

Australia, leading 2-1 in the five-match series, just needs a draw at Old Trafford to retain the coveted Ashes urn.

Australia’s XI for Old Trafford Test

David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Josh Hazlewood

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