Australia bowl first as Murphy recalled for Ashes finale

Australia's Pat Cummins ahead of the start of the fifth test

Australia captain Pat Cummins won his first toss of the series as he decided to bowl in the fifth and final Ashes Test against England at The Oval on Thursday.

The overcast conditions promised to assist fast bowler Cummins and his fellow quicks as Australia looked to secure their first Ashes series win in England in 22 years.

Australia off-spinner Todd Murphy replaced all-rounder Cameron Green in the only change to either side after England had the better of a rain-affected draw in last week's fourth Test at Old Trafford.

That result meant Australia, as the holders, retained the Ashes at 2-1 up with one to play regardless of the outcome of this week's finale in London.

But if they avoid defeat at The Oval, Cummins's men will become the first Australia side since Steve Waugh's celebrated 2001 team to have won an Ashes series in England.

"We're going to have a bowl because there is cloud overhead and the wicket looks like it is a good wicket," said Cummins at the toss.

"It is a similar side to who played four years ago, we finished that Test wishing we'd gone one better (the 2019 Ashes ended in a 2-2 draw following an England win at The Oval) so that is ahead of us."

Murphy initially came into the Australia team following frontline off-spinner Nathan Lyon's series-ending calf injury in the second Test at Lord's.

However, he was left out at Old Trafford following England's three-wicket win in the third Test at Headingley.

Cummins, explaining why Murphy had been reinstated for the fifth Test, said: "It was partially because of the wicket but Nathan Lyon has always bowled well here and Todd Murphy is a top-class bowler."

Australia's decision to bowl first meant England opener Zak Crawley would be involved from the start following his superb 189 at Old Trafford.

'Not enough revs on the coin!'

England captain Ben Stokes joked: "I didn't get the same amount of revs on the coin as usual!

"We'd have bowled first as well with the overheads."

He added: "Australia want to leave winning the Ashes. We know they have retained it, but we want to stop them winning it."

But a series win for Australia would set the seal on a tour that started with Cummins leading his team to victory over India in the World Test Championship final at The Oval.

England had already announced an unchanged team on Wednesday, with veteran seamer James Anderson, who will turn 41 on Sunday, keeping his place despite a disappointing series.

Anderson's 689 Test wickets are the most taken by any fast bowler, with only spinners Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Shane Warne (708) ahead of him in the all-time list.

But so far in this Ashes, Anderson has taken just four wickets in three Tests at a costly average of 76.75 apiece.

England: Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (capt), Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wkt), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (capt), Todd Murphy, Josh Hazlewood

Umpires: Joel Wilson (WIS), Kumar Dharmasena (SRI)

TV umpire: Nitin Menon (IND)

Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)