'Disgusting': Cricket fans fume over latest Ashes 'stinker'

The standard of umpiring has again come under fire in the first few overs of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval.

Australia won the toss and chose to bowl first and the curious decision from skipper Tim Paine almost paid very early dividends.

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However, it was a questionable decision from umpire Marais Erasmus that put a dampener on the initial Aussie celebrations.

Erasmus is widely regarded as one of the finest umpires in the game but even the South African proved that he's not immune to shocking decisions.

The South African official took a long time to make his decision after an almost half-hearted appeal from the Aussies when Josh Hazelwood hit England opener Roory Burns on the pads.

Josh Hazlewood's LBW of Rory Burns was overturned by DRS. Pic: Getty

Erasmus finally raised his finger to the sky, prompting an instant challenge from a perplexed Burns.

The DRS system proved the England batsman had every right to feel aggrieved as replays showing that the ball would have sailed comfortably over the top of the stumps.

Despite Burns’ reprieve after the decision was overturned, viewers were quick to stick the boot into Erasmus.

England’s let off didn't last much longer, however, as Pat Cummins had Burns’ opening partner Joe Denly caught behind for 14 runs.

The Aussie quick tempted the opener into a delivery wide of off stump that he edged behind for Steve Smith to take a juggling catch at second slip.

Aussies recall Siddle for final Test

Peter Siddle was recalled for what is likely to be his Ashes swansong at the Oval, where Paine opted to bowl first after winning the toss.

Australia made two changes to the XI that retained the urn in Manchester, calling up Siddle and Mitch Marsh in place of Mitchell Starc and Travis Head.

Paine called correctly on Thursday morning but admitted he was "a bit split on what to do".

"It looks like a bit of a strange wicket to be honest," Paine said.

"With a bit of grass on that wicket, Sidds has played well in the Test matches he's played in. Starcy has done a really good job too, it was a tough call."

England counterpart Joe Root claimed he would have batted first if the coin fell the other way.

"There's a bit of live grass there but it's patchy. It looks a pretty good surface in general, quite dry underneath. Could take turn later," Root said.

"Hopefully we get off to a solid start."

Australia's selectors were tempted to rest Cummins because of workload concerns but have backed the spearhead to back up.

Paine confirmed Marsh's recall in his pre-match press conference, noting it had more to do with giving Australia's quicks some respite rather than Head's recent form with the bat.

Australia, holding a 2-1 series lead, are pushing for their first Ashes series win in England since 2001.

With AAP