MANCHESTER – Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and chose to bat in their bid to reclaim the Ashes lead in the fourth test against England at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
The visitors are looking to rebound from the painful third test defeat at Headingley, where all-rounder Ben Stokes's unbeaten 135 helped England level the series at 1-1.
“Looking at that wicket it looks a bit drier than you'd expect,” Paine said. “We thought we'd have a bat first and put the runs on the board. I've personally put Headingley to one side and I think a lot of the boys have. Good or bad, we have to move forward.”
Steve Smith, the newly crowned world's number one test batsman, returns to the lineup after missing the Headingley humdinger with concussion.
Fast bowler Mitchell Starc will make his first appearance in the series after replacing Peter Siddle.