All-rounder Ben Stokes faces a race against time to be fit to bowl for England in the final Ashes Test.

Question marks remain over the fitness of Cumbrian Stokes, who injured his right shoulder over the weekend and didn't bowl in Australia's second innings in England's 185-run fourth Test defeat at Old Trafford.

England are due to assess the 28-year-old, from Cockermouth, over the next 48 hours but his batting, which brought a century at Lord's and a contender for the best-ever Test innings at Headingley, would surely guarantee his role as a specialist batsman in the top five - if he is not fit to bowl.

What it could call for is a change elsewhere, with Chris Woakes or Sam Curran drafted in as an all-rounder with a batsman forced to make way, with England today having named an unchanged squad ahead of the fifth Test at the Kia Oval which begins on Thursday.

England captain Joe Root, meanwhile, has been defended by former assistant coach Paul Farbrace after yesterday's defeat which saw the tourists retain the Ashes.

Root - who has stressed his belief he remains the right man to be skipper - was out for a duck for the third time in the series on Saturday evening.

When asked if England would benefit from having Root freed from the captaincy, Farbrace told BBC Radio 5 Live: "That's always the question that comes up after every series. Don't forget, this is the first time England have lost a home series since 2014.

"One thing England haven't had for the last few years is a solid top-order, and we haven't got too many players in county cricket who are banging the door the down to say 'I am England's next top Test opener'.

"Rory Burns has shown through this series he's got the skill and the ability and the mental capacity to open the batting for England. Fantastic.

"We need other people at the top of the order to score runs.

"It isn't just Joe Root. Joe Root is under enormous pressure. He is England's best player, he puts himself under extraordinary pressure and he knows the results this summer haven't been good enough.

"But up until this summer, his record as captain has been very good.

"And yes, his average has dropped while he has been captain - that has happened to every captain that has ever played the game probably."