Collingwood and Anderson called up for England
Paul Collingwood and James Anderson have been added to England's squad for the fifth Test at the Oval alongside the eleven who have played every Test this series.
The pair has been included so that the final combination will be balanced whether Simon Jones plays or not. Jones is continuing to receive treatment on his injured ankle and will be re-assessed by the medical team at practice on Tuesday.
"James Anderson has big match experience with England," said David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors, "and we feel that his inclusion in the squad will give the captain and coach another bowling option in the event of Jones being unfit to play."
Hampshire's Chris Tremlett misses out on a squad place, despite being in the 12 for the first four Tests - a fact which has, ironically, cost him his place this time. Graveney says that they have left Tremlett because he has not had much match practice in recent weeks. "We feel that he is not at the top of his game at the moment," he said.
Anderson has played 12 Tests for England, taking 35 wickets at 36.4. His last Test was in January this year, against South Africa. Since then he has been overlooked by England. But he has taken wickets consistently for Lancashire in the Championship this season: so far, he has 51 at 31.8.
Mike Watkinson, Anderson's coach at Lancashire, is in no doubt that his young fast bowler will perform for England if Jones fails to be fit: "I don't think he'll let anybody down if he's asked to do the job," he told BBC Sport. "He's been very steady this season, perhaps not as spectacular as he was in his early days but he's been given the new ball and been pretty dependable."
Collingwood has scored 1,059 runs and taken 20 wickets at 31.3 for Durham in the Championship this season, and he has two Tests under his belt. "If the chance comes along I'll try to slide in and do what I do best, score runs and take one-handed catches," he told BBC Sport. "I'm in good nick and I'm confident - I have runs under my belt and if called upon I'm ready for it."
England head to The Oval knowing that, with a 2-1 series lead, they need only a draw to win the Ashes. For Australia, meanwhile, nothing less than a win will do - but they have been lifted by the news that Glenn McGrath has declared himself fit for the contest which begins on Thursday.
England squad Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan (capt), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff, Geraint Jones (wk), Ashley Giles, Steve Harmison, Simon Jones, Matthew Hoggard, Paul Collingwood, James Anderson.