DURHAM paceman Graham Onions could makes his Ashes debut on home turf on Friday.
Onions and fellow quick bowler Chris Tremlett were last night included in the England squad for the fourth Investec Test at the Emirates Durham ICG – with England, 2-0 up after three games in the series, celebrating retaining the Ashes courtesy of yesterday’s rain-hit Old Trafford draw.
With just a four-day turnaround for the Chester-le-Street showdown, England could even take the radical step of resting star bowler James Anderson, which could allow Onions into Alastair Cook’s side.
National selector Geoff Miller explained the need for extra pace-bowling cover, saying: “The inclusion of Graham Onions and Chris Tremlett gives Andy Flower and Alastair Cook an opportunity to assess both the fitness of the bowling attack following the third Test, as well as the conditions at Durham.
“While the players should be congratulated on retaining the Ashes, there is still a lot of cricket left in this series and it is important that the players recover and refocus ahead of another crucial week of Test cricket.”
Any concerns over batsman Ian Bell’s fitness would also appear to have been allayed after the right-hander suffered a nasty blow to his thumb while batting in England’s second innings yesterday.
ENGLAND SQUAD: Cook, Anderson, Bairstow, Bell, Bresnan, Broad, Onions, Pietersen, Prior, Root, Swann, Tremlett, Trott.