Curran to make England debut on Boxing Day

Dec 25, 2017 - 4:31 PM England paceman Tom Curran will make his Test debut on Boxing Day at the MCG in a forced change to the tourists' XI.

With Craig Overton out of the fourth Ashes match due to a cracked rib, Curran, uncapped legspinner Mason Crane, first-Test flop Jake Ball and 2015 Ashes winner Mark Wood were in the mix to receive a call-up.

Skipper Joe Root made a captain's call, backing the South-African born seamer to rattle Australia on a flat pitch.

"Sometimes as a captain you have to go with your gut," Root said.

The tourists only have pride to play for in the five-Test series, having already surrendered the urn after the third match in Perth.

Root has borne the brunt of the criticism, with former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting calling him a soft leader who looked like a "little boy" in the media conference following the crushing WACA loss.

"He's entitled to his opinion but he doesn't spend any time in our dressing room and doesn't spend much time around the squad," Root said.

"I'm obviously going to disagree with that. I'm sure if you ask any of the guys in the camp - the coaches, support staff or players - they'd back me up.

"I don't think I go about things as a little boy.

"I have my own way of doing things. It's important you don't try to be something you're not but I know there are occasions when you might have to be quite strong in front of the group.

"There are times when I know I can do that and I have done that."

Source: AAP

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