I'll be fit for Ashes showdown: Jones
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I'll be fit for Ashes showdown: Jones

England bowler Jones gave his side a boost when he said he was hopeful he would be fit for the final Test.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2005 13:28 IST

England fast bowler Simon Jones gave his resurgent side a boost on Tuesday when he said he was hopeful he would be fit to play in the fifth and final Test against Australia at The Oval on September 8.

The Glamorgan paceman was barely able to take part in Australia's second innings in last weekend's fourth Test - which England scraped home with three wickets to spare to give them a 2-1 series lead - because of a sore ankle.

Jones - who was outstanding in the first innings taking 5-44 as Australia were forced to follow on for the first time in an Ashes test in 18 years the last time England won the series - is undergoing two sessions on a daily basis in an oxygen chamber in a London hospital to reduce the irritation around bone spurs in his right ankle.

However he told the BBC that he had enough time to be match fit even if he might require an operation after it.

"I've still got another week, which is a long time," he said.

"I'll get as much treatment as I can on it and touch wood - I'm touching my head - I'll be all right," added Jones, who was only able to bowl four overs in the second innings.

Hyperbaric oxygen chambers are used in the treatment of certain sports injuries because they can increase the oxygen supply to the injured part of the body.

While in the chamber, Jones will be breathing 100 percent oxygen, compared to the 21 percent oxygen and 79 percent nitrogen found in normal air.

If Jones, who has taken 18 wickets in the series at an average of 21.00, fails to make it there are four candidates lined up to replace him.

Hampshire's giant paceman Chris Tremlett has been in the squad for all four Tests without getting a game, but it would be a gamble to bring him in for his debut with the Ashes at stake.

All-rounder Paul Collingwood is not as quick as Jones but could be drafted if runs are needed and is the preferred candidate for Mike Gatting, the last man to lead England to Ashes glory, and whose outstanding fielding would also be a bonus.

James Anderson has still not regained the form he produced when bursting onto the international scene three winters ago.

Somerset's Andy Caddick has produced match-winning performances in Test cricket but is now 36 and has not played for England since January 2003.

First Published: Aug 31, 2005 13:28 IST