Australian all-rounder Faulkner to make Test debut

Last Updated: Wed, Aug 21, 2013 05:30 hrs

London, Aug 21 (IANS) All-rounder James Faulkner will make his Test debut for Australia in the fifth Ashes Test against England, which starts Wednesday at the Oval here.

The 23-year-old Tasmanian replaces the out-of-form Usman Khawaja, who has been dropped after averaging just 19 in three successive Tests, reports Xinhua.

Captain Michael Clarke has described Faulkner, a left-arm fast-medium bowler and right-hand batsman, as a fighter.

"He is a fighter and a competitor and although he might not look the best all the time, he will do his best to stay out there and help his partner make a hundred or bat with the tail to help them through," said Clarke.

"The better conditions there are for batting, the better bowler he is. I think he is the right character for this team and you will see how much talent he's got in this Test match."

All-rounder Shane Watson, who started the series as an opener before moving to number six, is now set to bat in the number three position previously occupied by Khawaja.

The decision to include Faulkner may come as a surprise to many as the Australians have failed miserably with the bat in the series, which they trail 0-3, and dropping a batsman for an all-rounder might not go down well.

Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc returns to replace Jackson Bird.

England, bidding for a first 4-0 home Ashes series win, will have to make at least one enforced change after all-rounder Tim Bresnan was ruled out with a season-ending back injury.

However, England captain Alastair Cook says he will not announce his side until the toss.


Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin, James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon

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