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Head axed, Marsh recalled for final Test

AAP logoAAP 4 days ago Rob Forsaith

Video provided by Wide World of Sports

Vice-captain Travis Head has been axed for the fifth Ashes Test as Australia hunt a series win at the Oval, where Mitch Marsh will return to the XI.

Selectors are yet to make a call on whether Pat Cummins or Josh Hazlewood will be rested from the series finale, which starts on Thursday.

Peter Siddle, who played the first two Tests, has been retained in a 12-man squad and could be recalled in place of the world's top-ranked bowler Cummins or an in-form Hazlewood.

Regardless of the attack, coach Justin Langer and chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns want to ensure their fast bowlers aren't worked into the ground in London.

Mitch Marsh © Getty Images Mitch Marsh It means Marsh will don his baggy green for the first time since last year's Boxing Day Test.

"It was a really tough call on Travis Head ... we felt like we needed some extra bowling," Tim Paine said.

"(Need) to look after our big fast bowlers.

"It's not necessarily Travis being dropped. We've been really clear with Travis on why he isn't playing this game.

"We had to make a really tough call on someone and it happened to be Travis."

Head helped Australia salvage a draw at Lord's but has since logged scores of zero, 25, 19 and 12.

Paine noted Marsh has "worked his backside off" since the home summer, improving his fitness to a point where he sustain a big bowling and batting workload.

Australia's 12-man squad for fifth Test: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Mitch Marsh, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

Pictures: Best photos from the fourth Test

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