The Ashes 2013-14 October 16, 2013

Australia's Gabba Test team announcement on November 12


Australia's Ashes squad announcement for the first Test in Brisbane has again been turned into a major set-piece event more than a week ahead of the toss of the coin, this time coinciding with the unveiling of the $26 million Centre of Excellence upgrade in Brisbane.

In 2010 the naming of a distended 17-man squad for the first Test in a made-for-television event on a grey day at Sydney's Circular Quay was widely criticised by players as a source of unease and tension ahead of a series England went on to romp in by a 3-1 margin. The sight of Nathan Hauritz huddling under an umbrella - he would be dropped when the squad was trimmed - summed up the uncertain nature of the occasion.

That event took place 10 days before the start of the series, but three years and an Argus review later the current Ashes squad will be announced on November 12, nine days before the Test and with a round of Sheffield Shield matches still to play. This also means that the likes of Phillip Hughes, George Bailey and Mitchell Johnson, all serious contenders for a place in the team, will only have one Shield fixture after their return from India before finding out if they will be playing in Brisbane.

Allrounder Shane Watson was among numerous players who questioned the wisdom of the 2010 announcement's timing. "Throughout last summer I felt there was a growing sense of panic all over the place which, to be honest, wasn't helped by CA announcing a bigger than usual Ashes squad down at the Rocks in Sydney in Nov 2010," Watson wrote in his 2011 autobiography, Watto.

"I don't know why the squad was named that early; there was still one more round of first-class games as well as the Australia A game against England to be completed. For guys who might have been under pressure, there was another week to be able to find some form. On the flip side, the players who were in contention for a place had a chance to put some pressure on the guys already in the team."

This time it is far less likely that the squad will be more than 12 or 13, with the conclusion of the Australia A match against the Englishmen on November 9 allowing the selectors to complete deliberations over their two most salient questions: who will bat at No. 6 and who will be part of the bowling attack with James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Jackson Bird unavailable due to injury.

The selectors are believed to be comfortable with the event's timing, and will reserve the right to add or subtract bowlers from the squad depending on fitness and form in the final Shield round before the squad assembles in Brisbane on Monday, November 18.

Guests for the announcement will first be guided through the upgraded Centre of Excellence facilities, which have been improved via a combination of CA revenues and funding from state and federal governments. Players at the centre are now able to prepare on a range of pitches while also using numerous advanced training aids.

Earlier this year, England broadcast their squad for the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge four days before the match, after the final round of county and tour matches had run their course. The announcement by Geoff Miller, the chairman of selectors, was televised on Sky Sports.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • on October 19, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    CA - Common, It's OK to lose; show some courage!

    Try blitz the brits.

    Go with Warner, Finch, Watson, Clarke, Bailey, Smith (spinner), Wade, Faulkner, M.Jonhson, Siddle, Harris.

  • Shaggy076 on October 19, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    I think the final couple of selections will depend on the first couple of shiel games at the moment the XL looks like Rogers, TBC, Watson, Clarke, Smith, TBC,, Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Siddle and Lyon with another quick and maybe Faulkner in the side. There is heaps of comp for those last couple of places which is good for Australia as well as the last quick. My preferred side at this stage is Rogers, Klinger, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Hughes, Wade, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon with 12th man Sayers or Cutting.

  • dummy4fb on October 18, 2013, 5:00 GMT

    Warner Rodgers Watson Clarke bailey maddinson Paine siddle starc harris lyon

  • Matt. on October 18, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    I agree with most of what you say @alstar2281. Warner needs to step out and clear his head and clean up his technique. I think Klinger should replace him. I wouldn't put Hughes in the opening spot though, he's too risky in that position. I think whoever performs the best in Shield out of Hughes, Bailey and Cosgrove should bat at 6. All 3 should be in the squad. I agree Johnson is too risky, have him in the squad and maybe play him in Perth. I'm not which of the young guns is the best though...Cutting, Hazelwood, Sayers, Coulter-Nile? Not sure id be too keen on Hilf either. Hopefully Patto can get back soon

  • landl47 on October 18, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    I see CA haven't heard that saying about doing the same thing and expecting different results.

    @ss1981 and Ram.TG: Starc is injured and out for the Summer. Bird is also injured and certainly won't play the first test..

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer: so your logic is that Rogers isn't good enough because he doesn't rotate the strike, even though he averages 50 in FC cricket and was one of the few Australian batting successes in England, but Quiney, whose only 3 test innings are 9, 0 and 0 and S. Marsh, whose last test series in 2011 garnered him 17 runs at an average of 2.66, and who both have FC averages in the 30s, are just the players to steer Aus to victory. Fascinating.

  • Ms.Cricket on October 17, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Cricket Australia should stop their ridiculous policy of not playing Siddle and Lyon in the ODIs. Australia is the only team in the world that cotton-balls its best bowlers even though the policy has failed miserably. Australia has fallen down the ODI rankings over the years. Never did they rest McGrath, Warne or other front-line bowlers during their days of dominition.

  • Ms.Cricket on October 17, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    CA will pick Rogers, Watson, Clarke. And the rest are useless. Why get excited about this?

  • James_Murphy on October 17, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    Warner is a certainty. 139 today cements his spot. His average in Aus the last two years has been great also and he can put the fear of god in the opposition. He can take the game away in a session. The three quicks are likely sids rhino and Mitch j and Lyon is likely to play unless fawad takes a few bags in the shield. The only spot for me is 6. Could be any of Hughes, bailey, Faulkner with roughies being Voges and Maddinson. I'd go Bailey however I wouldn't be surprised if they go Haddin at six, Faulkner at seven. Gives bowling options and relief to Harris and Siddle. Warner rogers Watson Clarke Smith Bailey Haddin Johnson Siddle Harris and Lyon

  • Flemo_Gilly on October 17, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    I think its fine to name the squad 10 days before the test because we would have played enough Ryobi and shield games by that stage. Rogers, Warner, Watson, Clarke, Khawaja, Smith, Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Siddle, Lyon, Faulkner 12th man. I am going on this with early Ryobi form as Khawaja has top scored in the last 3 games and should hopefully take this form into shield. I am not sure about Warner but he did get 70 in Durban and got a 100 today. Bowling sorts itself out as Johnson has to come in.

  • Barnesy4444 on October 17, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    alstar2281, that's a very accurate and sensible statement. There is an opener's spot and number 6 up for grabs. I also lean towards Hughes and Bailey but would like to see Bailey do something against the red ball with 3 slips and a gully, he favours the leg side a bit too much. It would be good for Warner to have a break from the international spotlight for the benefit of the whole squad if Bailey scores some Shield runs.

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