Curran to make Test debut as Root eyes two wins

England captain Joe Root backed Tom Curran to shine on his Test debut against Australia.

England paceman Tom Curran will replace the injured Craig Overton for the Boxing Day Test.   -  Getty Images

Tom Curran will make his Test debut for England against Australia in Melbourne, captain Joe Root confirmed.

With Craig Overton sidelined for the Boxing Day Test due to a fractured rib, paceman Curran, 22, will come in for the tourist.

Curran, who has played four international limited-overs matches, beat Mason Crane and Jake Ball to the spot – the only change to the England XI.

READ: Injured Overton out of Melbourne Test

"I think Tom offers a lot, I think he's a real competitor," Root told a news conference on Monday. "He's got that similar sort of work ethic and the way he goes about things, it's very similar to Craig actually, he's always wanting to get into the contest and you know that you're always going to get absolutely everything out of him.

"He's also very skillful and hopefully he can have a really good week here."

England is looking to avoid a series whitewash, having already lost the urn by falling 3-0 behind in the Ashes.

Root said there was still plenty for his team to play for in Melbourne and Sydney.

"It's obviously very bitterly disappointing," he said. "Since we got back into training, it's been a lot easier actually, getting my head around this game and knowing how much is still on the line for us and what we still need to do to come away with some good stuff from this tour.

ALSO READ: Smith 'sore' but ready for Boxing Day Test

"The attitude from the guys has been very good around practice and they're fully aware of all the stuff that's still on the table for us to gain from this trip and an opportunity to go and play in a Boxing Day Test match in front of 90,000 people I think speaks for itself.

"There's plenty to play for and we're making sure we leave this trip with a couple of wins under our belt."

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