Ashes places up for grabs

ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook says the starting line-up for the fast approaching first Ashes Test in Brisbane is far from finalised.

Cook’s side began their penultimate warm-up match against Australia A in Hobart last night, with the first Test due to begin on 21 November.

And the Essex batsman feels several fringe members of the 17-man squad still have the chance to play their way into contention.

“There is an opportunity for people to stake a claim,” said Cook, whose team also play a three-day match against New South Wales XI in Sydney starting on 13 November.

“The third seamer spot is probably up for grabs and one of the batting spots.”