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September 2, 2005
Brad Hodge and Stuart MacGill have been named in the Australian squad to face Essex at Chelmsford tomorrow, their final chance to regroup ahead of Thursday's vital encounter at The Oval. But there is no place for Glenn McGrath. He missed the Trent Bridge defeat with an elbow injury, and remains on the sidelines as he continues his fight to regain fitness.
Trailing 2-1 in the series, Australia must win at the Oval to deny England their first Ashes triumph since 1986-87, and Michael Kasprowicz - who was Essex's overseas player back in 1994 - today warned that England have not yet seen the best of their opponents.
"We are going into that final Test knowing we have to win so it's a good situation for England to be in," he admitted to AFP. "We like to play attacking cricket and will be going flat out hoping that England might falter. If you think about just drawing a game, it can go against you."
Kasprowicz played in both of Australia's defeats, at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge, and has looked short on penetration to date in the series. "England have played exceptionally well," he added. "They've had some great plans and gone out and executed those things very well and been on top of their game throughout.
"I think in amongst all of us we know that we haven't quite been there yet. We've been a little slow to adjust to the conditions over here but there is a good belief in ourselves and our mates To come into this Test with a chance of retaining the Ashes is a plus. We know there is more there.
Kasprowicz admitted that the absence of McGrath had been a major blow. "We obviously need him to come good," he said. "He's got 500 Test wickets so he'd be handy and we will obviously be giving him every chance to be fit for Thursday."
Australia team to face Essex
1 Justin Langer, 2 Matthew Hayden, 3 Simon Katich, 4 Brad Hodge, 5 Adam Gilchrist (capt), 6 Brad Haddin, 7 Brett Lee, 8 Jason Gillespie, 9 Shaun Tait, 10 Michael Kasprowicz, 11 Stuart MacGill.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.