England have confirmed Jake Ball as their fourth seamer for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
Ball takes the final place, ahead of his uncapped fellow seamer Craig Overton, in an England line-up which has otherwise been inked in for several weeks.
Captain Joe Root did not take the opportunity to name his team for the Gabba at his final pre-series press conference.
But following England practice at the ground on the eve of the opening match, a team spokesman announced Ball had made the cut.
It will be the 26-year-old’s fourth Test cap, but first in an Ashes series, following his recovery from a sprained ankle suffered in England’s second warm-up match in Adelaide two weeks ago.
Ball has not played since but was declared fit for selection on Monday.
Root explained, in an interview on the England and Wales Cricket Board website ecb.co.uk, why Ball had inched the verdict ahead of Overton.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” he said.
“Craig’s come into the squad, and everything that’s been asked of him he’s done brilliantly well.
“But Jake has bowled well when he’s had his opportunities on the tour, and I think the way he goes about things on these surfaces could be really challenging for the Australians.”
England’s medical staff are satisfied Ball has fully recovered from the injury he suffered when he lost his footing in his delivery stride in the second of three warm-up matches.
“Yes, he wouldn’t be playing if not,” said Root.
“He’s worked really hard and done everything he can to make sure he’s in top shape for this first Test.”
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