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Paul Collingwood, the England captain, had never seen Chris Woakes bat before his match-winning innings against Australia in the opening Twenty20 and went on the advice of coach Andy Flower as to which position the debutant should take. It proved another perfect decision from Flower as Woakes hit an unbeaten 19 from No. 9 to secure a one-wicket victory at Adelaide.
Woakes, 21, earned his chance in the Twenty20 and one-day squads after Stuart Broad‘s stomach injury picked up during the second Ashes Test ruled him out of action until at least the World Cup. It wasn’t expected that Woakes would play a major role but he was given an outing against the Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra then preferred to Chris Tremlett in the Twenty20 side. Now he could yet be making a late bid for World Cup selection.
Full story: ESPNcricinfo
Policy has worked for 18 months says Flower
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Victoria’s two most senior players have endorsed the retention of Australia’s all-pace bowling attack for the Boxing Day Test.
Captain Cameron White and vice-captain David Hussey both support an unchanged side from Perth, despite Melbourne’s conditions not being as overtly suited to pace as the WACA Ground.
Full story: The Age
Despite denials that a decision has been taken to help the home side, it is likely to diminish the impact of Graeme Swann, England's most potent threat.
The pitch for the fourth Test in Melbourne has been switched, less than a fortnight before the match that could determine who wins the Ashes.
Australia took less than an hour in Perth yesterday to complete victory by 267 runs as they reinforced England’s frailties on a surface with pace and bounce. With the series level at 1-1, England need only a win in either Melbourne or Sydney, but Australia have drawn fresh confidence before the traditional Boxing Day fixture.
Changing pitches so close to a match is rare, but Channel 9 and Sky Sports have been told to move the position of their cameras, which must be directly behind the bowler to allow technology to operate accurately.
Full story: The Australian