Updated: Thursday, 26 December 2013 07:55 | By Agence France-Presse

Australia win toss and bowl in fourth Test

Australia won the toss and chose to bowl in the fourth Ashes Test against England at an overcast Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday.


Australia win toss and bowl in fourth Test

England spinner Monty Panesar sends down a delivery during a training session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), in Melbourne on December 25, 2013

Australia have secured the best-of-five series after winning the first three Tests in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

England dropped vice-captain Matt Prior and named Jonny Bairstow as wicketkeeper, while Monty Panesar was chosen as the specialist spinner following the shock mid-series retirement of Graeme Swann.

For the first time since August 2008 England go into a Test without Jonathan Trott, Prior or Swann.

Prior, a 31-year-old veteran of England's three consecutive Ashes wins over Australia since 2009, has played 75 Tests.

Prior has averaged 17.83 with the bat in the series. The 31-year-old made crucial mistakes behind the stumps in the third Test in Perth leading to his demotion.

Australia, who have already wrapped up the Ashes following their series-sealing victory in the third Perth Test before Christmas, named an unchanged side for the fourth consecutive Test.

Teams:

Australia: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt), Steve Smith, George Bailey, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon. 

England: Alastair Cook (capt),  Michael Carberry, Joe Root, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Monty Panesar.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK), Kumar Dharmasena (SRI)

TV umpire: Billy Bowden (NZL)

Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)

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