Struggling batters Rory Burns and Ollie Pope have been dropped by England for the third Ashes Test while fast bowlers Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes have both been rested. Jonny Bairstow is expected to be a direct replacement for Pope while Zak Crawley will take Burns’ place at the top of the order.
England also confirmed that Jos Buttler, who almost managed a draw for his team in Adelaide by veering away from his usual aggressive self and playing a 207-ball 26, will keep wickets and Bairstow will play as a pure batter.
Buttler was in a confident mood Saturday at a Christmas morning media conference.
“We’re certainly not here to just take part and let 70,000 people enjoy another Australian victory,” Buttler said. “We have to fight back, we want to win the series and we want to win this Test match.
“I’m sure it will be a hostile environment here but that’s to be embraced and enjoyed, everyone is excited to be here. This is why you play the game because you want to be part of big occasions.”
England playing XI: Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, James Anderson.