England wins toss, bats 1st in 4th Ashes test
CHESTER-LE-STREET, England (AP) — England won the toss and will bat first against Australia under cloudy skies in the fourth Ashes test at Chester-le-Street starting Friday.
Needing a victory to keep alive hopes of drawing the series, Australia brought in Jackson Bird for his first Ashes test as fellow paceman Mitchell Starc was dropped.
England was unchanged from the drawn third test at Old Trafford, with Durham fast bowler Graham Onions missing out on a call-up on his home ground.
The English are 2-0 ahead and have already retained the Ashes. A draw or victory here will secure them a third straight series win over their fierce rivals.
Chester-le-Street is hosting its first Ashes test, with the pitch expected to be dry and hard — like in the first three tests.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson.
Australia: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke (captain), Steve Smith, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, Jackson Bird, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon.