The Ashes 2013-14 November 11, 2013

Stable Australia prepare to unveil squad

  shares 68

For once, it should not be necessary to scour left-field. Australia's desire to carry stability and continuity into the forthcoming Ashes battle will be reflected when the national selector, John Inverarity, unveils the squad for the first Test in Brisbane on Tuesday, in a departure from the chaotic and surprising choices that characterised the start of the past two series against England.

Unlike Xavier Doherty's usurping of Nathan Hauritz in 2010, or the surprising selection of Ashton Agar ahead of Nathan Lyon at Trent Bridge earlier this year, there will be few hunches taken by Inverarity's panel, especially after the cricketers in their Ashes sights put in largely encouraging displays in the round of first-class matches that concluded on Saturday. Mitchell Johnson and George Bailey are heavily favoured to be the additions to the XI who took the field at The Oval, minus the injured Mitchell Starc.

Shane Watson's likely inability to bowl at the Gabba due to his recovery from a hamstring problem has created the only element of uncertainty around the team. As a result, the Tasmania allrounder James Faulkner is expected to keep his place in the squad after a debut in the final Test in England, with conditions then weighed up before it is decided whether to take four or five bowlers into the match.

This decision will be linked to the inclusion of a sixth batsman, with Bailey widely expected to take his place in the squad after performing creditably for Tasmania in his only Shield appearance since returning from India. Bailey's selection would be based as much on his outstanding ODI record and leadership characteristics as his recent first-class record. The elegant No. 3 batsman Alex Doolan is the other major candidate and also the most likely inclusion should Watson's recovery stall.

Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Lyon will form the core of the bowling attack, while Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus are expected to fill the remaining places in the squad. Lyon's retention will make a welcome change from the spin cycle of recent years, rewarding his strong displays in the latter part of the Ashes in England. There remains some chance that the Queenslander Ben Cutting may be included as the final pace bowler ahead of Hilfenhaus following his staunch display for Australia A against England in Hobart.

Otherwise the team is shaping up far more stable fashion than it did ahead of either of the previous two Ashes bouts, something the captain, Michael Clarke, acknowledged at the launch of his Ashes Diary at the SCG. "There's no doubt there's a lot more stability in our teams … honestly I believe if they're going to pick 12 players then 11 of them are no-brainers," Clarke said. "We're looking at probably one spot to know what our first 11 or first 12 are going to be for the Gabba.

"The exciting thing where we sit right now is whether it be batters or bowlers, individual players have stood up, have performed … guys have really picked themselves, which is an impressive thing for our team. It's what Darren Lehmann and I asked our team to do, to go back to state cricket and make sure you were taking wickets or scoring runs to be in the front of the selectors' minds."

Australia changed the composition of their team for every Test match in England, but the subsequent performances of those who took part in the final match of that series has left few places in doubt. Among the batsmen, Chris Rogers, David Warner, Watson, Clarke and Steve Smith have all made runs in various formats, while each of Harris, Siddle and Lyon have been building their form to carefully tailored plans.

Clarke, who had noted Shane Warne's recent comments that he must keep working to improve the team environment, said that communication, trust and respect for differences had increased in recent months. "I think the communication within the team is outstanding at the moment, I think everybody knows where we're going, what we're trying to achieve and how we're going to get there," he said. "I think everybody knows their own personal role in the team as well, which is critical, and I think 'Boof' and myself are trying to create an environment that allows each individual to be themselves.

"In our team now we've got a great mix of some 20-year-old single boys, we've got Brad, a 36-year-old married dad with three kids, so there's a huge gap in between and it's about trying to set-up an environment that allows each individual to be themselves and feel comfortable. Part of Darren's and my job is to get the best out of each of them, and you don't do that on your own, you do that with a lot of people around you."

Possible Australia Test squad: Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson (fitness pending), Michael Clarke (capt), Steve Smith, George Bailey, Brad Haddin (wk), James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nathan Lyon

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Wefinishthis on | November 18, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    ScottStevo - Here's some trivia for you, it was less than 1 year before Tendulkar was picked from his First Class debut in 1988 to his first test match debut at age 16. In applying your argument, Tendulkar was just a "2 minute" wonder after having played just a handful of first class matches and should have kept playing for a number of seasons in first class. This undeniable fact proves that if a player can compete at age 16 with so little first class experience, then there's almost no reason not to be selecting players with excellent performances from a small sample, especially when they're several years older than 16. This means that age/limited first class experience cannot be used as an excuse. Tendulkar was no exception either. I'm sure you've heard of Sobers, Younis, Akram, Imran, Harbhajan, Ranatunga, Ponting etc. They all started young. If there's no proven class at shield level, I'd rather take the risk on finding a prodigy rather than picking players who are a proven dud.

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | November 13, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    @WeFinishThis, you have some strange ideas on players, mate! Silk has played, what, 5/6 FC matches and he's more deserving of the #6 spot? It's almost not even worthy of response it's that unbelievably ludicrous. As for Sandhu and Sayers, again, these guys are hardly even in the reckoning. It's not forward thinking or left field, or clever suggesting players that are 2 minute shield wonders and playing them up as test candidates. There's more likelihood that if we selected these guys they'd do abysmally than any good. No point reverting to a guy like Johnson with good international form and experience, albeit somewhat up and down, then select a hopeful, hey? Or bring in a rookie into a failing batting line up. Great thinking. Then we'll tell him if he doesn't perform in 2 tests, he'll carry our drinks for 12 months, a la Khawaja. That's the way to bring players on...

  • POSTED BY HatsforBats on | November 12, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    @ wellrounded87, the old NSW conspiracy theory hey? What were Hartley & Paine doing when Gilchrist retired? Nothing approaching test-standard that's for sure. Haddin had a long record of devastating batting in domestic cricket and years of leadership experience, he was rightly next cab off the rank. Even if they'd picked the best gloveman in the country at the time that would've been Manou, not Hartley or Paine. And how did Wade got the job? A Tasmanian playing for Victoria, obviously their parts of NSW now.

  • POSTED BY Wefinishthis on | November 12, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    I expect some high-scoring draws this series, unless the pitches offer some assistance. Australia's bowling is still fragile against the solid England batting lineup. Harris is world class, but Lyon, Siddle and Johnson are all extremely inconsistent bowlers, none of whom will ever go on to be considered amongst the greats and you need bowling greats if you want to win test matches and get back to no.1 for any prolonged period of time. It's a shame that Bird and Pattinson are injured and O'Keefe is ignored, they're our best chances for finding some more greats. Lyon especially will be bowling pies to this English team. I'd be picking 4 fast bowlers for Brisbane and Perth. With Bird and Pattinson out, I'd go for Harris, Faulkner, Sayers and Sandhu. Bailey will probably turn into a walking wicket, but will be happy to be proven wrong. Silk deserves the no.6 spot more.

  • POSTED BY Sathyasing on | November 12, 2013, 1:44 GMT

    Guess wicketkeeper batsman and a spinner should be there for perfect balance.Probably Nivel and xavier would have been included in the squad.

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    The concern I have about this probable Australian team is the similarity in the bowling attack to the one which England dominated in the last Ashes series on Aussie home soil. Chad Sayers on form should be in the team (I daresay at Johnson`s expense). Also Alex Doolan, on form, should be selected ahead of Bailey. Selections based on ODI form are fraught with danger.......Maxwell, Henriques, Doherty, are all examples of this. Chris Lynn must also be pushing for a Test batting berth if he can follow up his excellent Shield form.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 12, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    If Warner doesn't come good and have a solid series we should look elsewhere. I'd like to see some consistency from him rather than run a ball hundreds. If he could score say 400 runs for the series I'd prefer to see that spread out over the entire series rather than getting 80% of his runs in one or two knocks. .. as it is, whoever bats at 3 must be nervous every time Davey heads out to the middle. .. Still, his domestic form is pretty good so this is the series to do it.

    As far as the spinner goes, I guess it's Lyon. I like Nathan but I'd go with Zampa. I realise that's a bit out of the box, and I expect to get told to get back in it, but I'd go with him for sure. .. The kid is not going to be the next Shane Warne, he's going to be the first Adam Zampa.

  • POSTED BY wellrounded87 on | November 12, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    @Henrik Loven If selection were based on ability Brad Haddin would be nowhere near this test side. Hartley and Paine have outperformed him in all facets of the game in the last 2-3 years yet he's got the spot why? well he's from NSW of course.

    I don't like the idea of MJ and Bailey being picked. MJ is a massive liability and his white ball form is hardly any indicator of where he's at. He's always been a good ODI bowler even when he was going for plenty against ENG. Test bowling is about building pressure, something Johnson can't do unless the conditions are perfect for him, i.e. Perth or Wanderers Cutting or Sayers are much more reliable options. Bailey got worked over by Harris in the shield match and his red ball form is awful. I suspect much of the same from Anderson and Broad for him, I'd much rather see someone like Doolan, Lynn or Silk get a selection (provided Watto is fit, if not Pick Bailey for his experience to fill in then pick Faulkner as an all rounder at 7)

  • POSTED BY michael.senthil on | November 12, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    does anyone know when the announcement is

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | November 12, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    I've said this a few time recently, but I am so happy to eat my words when it comes to Steve Smith - the boy's come good. And despite a dreadful year for the test side, I really do see the core of a good team developing here. They may still be pummelled by a strong English side this summer, but the Aussies are looking much more like a team than the trainwreck from the India test series. They seem to be enjoying themselves and playing with some backbone again. Just as an observer, it seems to me the return of Haddin and Harris as wise heads, and the departure of Mickey, have had no small part in this.

  • POSTED BY Wefinishthis on | November 18, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    ScottStevo - Here's some trivia for you, it was less than 1 year before Tendulkar was picked from his First Class debut in 1988 to his first test match debut at age 16. In applying your argument, Tendulkar was just a "2 minute" wonder after having played just a handful of first class matches and should have kept playing for a number of seasons in first class. This undeniable fact proves that if a player can compete at age 16 with so little first class experience, then there's almost no reason not to be selecting players with excellent performances from a small sample, especially when they're several years older than 16. This means that age/limited first class experience cannot be used as an excuse. Tendulkar was no exception either. I'm sure you've heard of Sobers, Younis, Akram, Imran, Harbhajan, Ranatunga, Ponting etc. They all started young. If there's no proven class at shield level, I'd rather take the risk on finding a prodigy rather than picking players who are a proven dud.

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | November 13, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    @WeFinishThis, you have some strange ideas on players, mate! Silk has played, what, 5/6 FC matches and he's more deserving of the #6 spot? It's almost not even worthy of response it's that unbelievably ludicrous. As for Sandhu and Sayers, again, these guys are hardly even in the reckoning. It's not forward thinking or left field, or clever suggesting players that are 2 minute shield wonders and playing them up as test candidates. There's more likelihood that if we selected these guys they'd do abysmally than any good. No point reverting to a guy like Johnson with good international form and experience, albeit somewhat up and down, then select a hopeful, hey? Or bring in a rookie into a failing batting line up. Great thinking. Then we'll tell him if he doesn't perform in 2 tests, he'll carry our drinks for 12 months, a la Khawaja. That's the way to bring players on...

  • POSTED BY HatsforBats on | November 12, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    @ wellrounded87, the old NSW conspiracy theory hey? What were Hartley & Paine doing when Gilchrist retired? Nothing approaching test-standard that's for sure. Haddin had a long record of devastating batting in domestic cricket and years of leadership experience, he was rightly next cab off the rank. Even if they'd picked the best gloveman in the country at the time that would've been Manou, not Hartley or Paine. And how did Wade got the job? A Tasmanian playing for Victoria, obviously their parts of NSW now.

  • POSTED BY Wefinishthis on | November 12, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    I expect some high-scoring draws this series, unless the pitches offer some assistance. Australia's bowling is still fragile against the solid England batting lineup. Harris is world class, but Lyon, Siddle and Johnson are all extremely inconsistent bowlers, none of whom will ever go on to be considered amongst the greats and you need bowling greats if you want to win test matches and get back to no.1 for any prolonged period of time. It's a shame that Bird and Pattinson are injured and O'Keefe is ignored, they're our best chances for finding some more greats. Lyon especially will be bowling pies to this English team. I'd be picking 4 fast bowlers for Brisbane and Perth. With Bird and Pattinson out, I'd go for Harris, Faulkner, Sayers and Sandhu. Bailey will probably turn into a walking wicket, but will be happy to be proven wrong. Silk deserves the no.6 spot more.

  • POSTED BY Sathyasing on | November 12, 2013, 1:44 GMT

    Guess wicketkeeper batsman and a spinner should be there for perfect balance.Probably Nivel and xavier would have been included in the squad.

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    The concern I have about this probable Australian team is the similarity in the bowling attack to the one which England dominated in the last Ashes series on Aussie home soil. Chad Sayers on form should be in the team (I daresay at Johnson`s expense). Also Alex Doolan, on form, should be selected ahead of Bailey. Selections based on ODI form are fraught with danger.......Maxwell, Henriques, Doherty, are all examples of this. Chris Lynn must also be pushing for a Test batting berth if he can follow up his excellent Shield form.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 12, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    If Warner doesn't come good and have a solid series we should look elsewhere. I'd like to see some consistency from him rather than run a ball hundreds. If he could score say 400 runs for the series I'd prefer to see that spread out over the entire series rather than getting 80% of his runs in one or two knocks. .. as it is, whoever bats at 3 must be nervous every time Davey heads out to the middle. .. Still, his domestic form is pretty good so this is the series to do it.

    As far as the spinner goes, I guess it's Lyon. I like Nathan but I'd go with Zampa. I realise that's a bit out of the box, and I expect to get told to get back in it, but I'd go with him for sure. .. The kid is not going to be the next Shane Warne, he's going to be the first Adam Zampa.

  • POSTED BY wellrounded87 on | November 12, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    @Henrik Loven If selection were based on ability Brad Haddin would be nowhere near this test side. Hartley and Paine have outperformed him in all facets of the game in the last 2-3 years yet he's got the spot why? well he's from NSW of course.

    I don't like the idea of MJ and Bailey being picked. MJ is a massive liability and his white ball form is hardly any indicator of where he's at. He's always been a good ODI bowler even when he was going for plenty against ENG. Test bowling is about building pressure, something Johnson can't do unless the conditions are perfect for him, i.e. Perth or Wanderers Cutting or Sayers are much more reliable options. Bailey got worked over by Harris in the shield match and his red ball form is awful. I suspect much of the same from Anderson and Broad for him, I'd much rather see someone like Doolan, Lynn or Silk get a selection (provided Watto is fit, if not Pick Bailey for his experience to fill in then pick Faulkner as an all rounder at 7)

  • POSTED BY michael.senthil on | November 12, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    does anyone know when the announcement is

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | November 12, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    I've said this a few time recently, but I am so happy to eat my words when it comes to Steve Smith - the boy's come good. And despite a dreadful year for the test side, I really do see the core of a good team developing here. They may still be pummelled by a strong English side this summer, but the Aussies are looking much more like a team than the trainwreck from the India test series. They seem to be enjoying themselves and playing with some backbone again. Just as an observer, it seems to me the return of Haddin and Harris as wise heads, and the departure of Mickey, have had no small part in this.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 23:44 GMT

    I think we all know that Baileys batting at number 6 in the first test. Unless Faulkner does. Steve O'Keefe keeps outbowling Nathan Lyon in every NSW match, yet on the Cricket Australia "pick your own team" bit, he's not even an option.

  • POSTED BY Fareen on | November 11, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    I would like Australia to pick Cameron White rather than Khawaja, Cowan or Doolan. Khawaja and Cowan looked really uncomfortable against England and Doolan shouldn't be in the squad simply because it's risky to pick a debutant for the important No. 3 spot. White is in the mix for some time now and although he's not been consistent, his experience would be handy. 1. Warner 2. Rogers 3. Clarke 4. Bailey 5. White 6. Smith 7. Haddin 8. Johnson 9. Siddle 10. Lyon 11. Harris.

  • POSTED BY ShutTheGate on | November 11, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    To those suggesting that Lyon be dropped please explain what he has done to deserve being dropped.

    I think it's great that the selectors are moving away from selecting on a hunch or on very recent form. So what if SOK outplayed Lyon in the last couple of shield games. What matters is that Lyon has played with the other team members and knows how to bowl in partnerships with our pace attack and is consistent. We know how he handles the pressure of big matches and media spot light. He deserves to be there.

    It used to be hard to get dropped from the Australian team and that was when we were the best in the world with a lot of depth. To the selectors please reduce the amount of chopping and changing.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | November 11, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    I can't think that whatever the side,England are going to lose too much sleep. In fact the announcement should be the prelude to some very long and deep sleeps, and not a certain feeling of joy.

  • POSTED BY Dangertroy on | November 11, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    @sirviv& first drop - baileys first class record isn't impressive (neither is is terrible), but neither is his list A record. Still, he averages more than 50 in ODIs. He wasn't a natural pick for the ODI squad, but now he is arguably the teams most important player. Yes, he made his runs in ODIs on Indian flat tracks, but he was impressive in England also, but he has earned a chance in the test arena.

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | November 11, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    @Ozcricketwriter, I'm not sure his bowling would qualify as a phenomenal display in India. Sure, he batted out of his skin, but one of his overs near about cost us the last match after Johnson had bowled us back into the game (although he did support well during that spell. I'm also not forgetting that this genius single handedly won us the match with the bat!). After looking at the stats from last season the Tassie bowlers , not just Faulkner, but 3 of them were right up there statistically. Makes it hard not to have some doubts about the tracks they played most of their cricket on. I like Faulkner, but I agree, he's not a number 6, probably not a 7 either, but he's got ticker. I for one, am not convinced that Faulkner has enough to be a top shelf test bowler.

  • POSTED BY Clavers on | November 11, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    I agree with stormy16 and therefore think Englishfan may be on the right track. If Watson is unavailable then who is the next best *batting* all-rounder in Australia? I would say Steve Smith. Faulkner is a good player but he is a *bowling* allrounder. He doesn't belong at number 6. Given that pace usually gets the job done at the Gabba, four specialist quicks with Smith providing the spin option if needed (he troubles Bell at least) makes sense. Smith is not a stock bowler like Lyon -- not someone to bowl 25 containing overs when wickets are hard to come by. However, with four quicks including Siddle and Johnson who can both bowl in a workhorse role that's not a big worry.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    "Stable Australia" .... is that how we are selling it??

    Why not "Same old Australia!!" .... after all it is essentially the same batting line up that was thrashed in India and thrashed in England ..... essentially the same crew led by the same captaincy that have lost again the top 3 Test Teams in the last 12-mths with a record of 0 wins, 4 draws and 8 losses .... and the record could have been worse after Clarke, facing another batting collapse, didn't want to bat with the bowlers and spat the dummy in the 5th Test at the Oval.

    A wrecking ball should have gone through the batting line up after the 3rd Test in England.

    A real concern is Haddin, who hasn't played a red-ball-game since The Ashes and who's batting is steadily deteriorating.

    Once again, as stated before the last Ashes Series, I feel that if Australia is to be competitive it will be through the bowlers with bat and ball.

    ps. The TV Ads indicate that The Ashes squad was selected weeks ago.

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | November 11, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    I saw Clarke earlier talking about how he would never stoop to playing boring grinding cricket.I wonder if it ever gets cold living so high on the moral high ground. Apparently all this years history is wiped away and this Aussie team will decimate England. I guess we will see what happens next.I am sure both sides fans will have their excuses ready though if England should lose I hope we don't come up with quite so much moralising drivel as we have had to face.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 20:31 GMT

    Fully agree with Tommy McDade , Australia's pace attack looking great, Siddle is an unsung superstar, brilliant bowler in my opinion, fiery, aggressive, accurate and lionhearted. Harris is a little prone to injury but superb and Johnson runs hot and cold, club cricketer when cold, unplayable when hot. Injuries already hurting England , KP and Prior big characters for us. Wouldn't put any money on an outcome possibly a draw ? 1-1 ?

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | November 11, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    Many people are dismissing James Faulkner without paying any attention to what he has done. In first class cricket he has a bowling average of just over 20 - not in one dayers, in first class matches. He has combined that with a batting average of around 30. On his test debut, in the last test that Australia played, he took 4 wickets at an average of just over 20 while scoring 20 in each innings. No, he is not a number 6, but he did a good job as a number 7 or 8. He has then backed that up with a phenomenal display in the Indian ODI series. If he is dropped, it is absolutely unfair and absurd. He should play as one of the 4 pace bowlers picked. Faulkner never breaks down, is very consistent, and can bowl forever - the perfect foil for Johnson and even Harris. As for Ben Hilfenhaus, I can't see why he would be in consideration. The 13th man will be a batsman, as cover for Watson. Who it will be is anybody's guess but my pick is Ed Cowan. It could be Cameron White. Who knows.

  • POSTED BY Thefakebook on | November 11, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    I'm so happy that finally OZ got a team..ye..yeah I meant earlier this year there was not a fixed 11 at all.Now OZ got 9 fixed spots just the odd fast bowler and no. 6 remain.My starting XT: Rogers,Warner,Doolan(if no Watto),Stevie Smith,MJ Clarkie,Bailey,Haddin,Johnson,Peter Siddle,Harris and Ahmed(I will never pick an offie over an Leggie),12th man Faulkner. Hilfenhaus,Sayers,Lyon,Tim Paine,Joe Burns and CL White(I know everybody thinks he's a looser but the man got at least a 50 in all his outing this season what else does he need to do to prove himself?) should be included in the overall squad.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    Harris, Johnson and Siddle is potentially a match winning quick bowling unit, they need support from the rest of the team though. I expect a closer series than last summers, if the Aussies quicks stay fit and fire.

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | November 11, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    @wibblewibble, you're forgetting that it's not just his form in India, it was throughout the whole year to 18 months. In fact, I think he went to leading run scorer for the year at one point? Misbah has gone past him now...GBailey 2013- 20 inn 1098 runs @ 64.58 @ 100SR. Not bad at all when you consider ABDV 20inn 842 runs @ 46.77 @ 91.22SR, V Kholi 25 inns 1033 runs @ 54.36 @ 97.63SR, Misbah-ul-Haq 26 inns 1119 runs @ 53.28 @ 71.54SR, R Sharma 22 inns 1071 runs @ 59.5 @ 82.57SR. Really, he's only been bettered by K Sangakkara 16 inns @ 74 @ 92.5SR (Gee this bloke is very, very good!). Hard to look at those stats and say he couldn't cut it as a test #6. It's especially attractive to Aus as many of those occasions he walked out to bat at 30-3 and produced, showing mettle, grit and determination. Something Aus middle order has seriously lacked. He mightn't be the most talented of blokes, but for Oz, he's proven he can take the pressure and lead an innings. That works enough for me.

  • POSTED BY CodandChips on | November 11, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    With Watson- 1 Rogers 2 Warner 3 Watson 4 Clarke 5 Bailey (c) 6 Smith 7 Haddin 8Johnson 9 Siddle 10 Harris 11 Lyon

    No Watson 1 Rogers 2 Warner 3 Khawaja 4 Clarke 5 Bailey (c) 6 Smith 7 Haddin 8 Johnson 9 Siddle 10 Coulter-Nile 11 Harris

    (If no Watson, they need to play an extra seemer in case Johnson goes wayward and Harris snaps in half. Smith would have to cover as the spinner)

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    only an injury can save Australia. it has been time and again Warner pummels a second string bowling attack in shield and then fails to deliver in international stage. The NSP will be well advised to give Alex Dolan the opening spot and play bailey as no6 batsmen. the bowling should be Jhonson, Harris and Siddle

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    @Nilan Wasantha - Last time I looked, test teams were chosen on ability and that's why there's no room for Khawaja. Apart from the few overs he batted with Michael Clarke at Lord's, he looked as much out of place as did Simon Kerrigan at the Oval.

  • POSTED BY throughthelense on | November 11, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    Australia would do well to have Faulkner and Hilfenhaus/Johnson. Harris and Siddle. Faulkner should be utilised as an all-rounder after his recent exploits. Five bowlers will give their side the chance to bowl England out twice. Watson is over rated and injury prone and should be shown his place. He should not feature in the Australian scheme of things in the bigger format of the game. Clarke should come at No.3 to impose himself. The best in the team must bat at No.3.Warner and Clarke can demoralise any attack. This is Australia's best chances of an Ashes win.

  • POSTED BY willsrustynuts on | November 11, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    'Ah Look, this is awesome, the guys are talking so well to each other and they picked themselves...blah blah blah...' - this is the same bunch that lost it last time and time before that and time before... you have more chance of Shane Warne being able to change his facial expression than you have of the Australian team changing into winners.

    So reminiscent of England during the wilderness years.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | November 11, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    With Australia's batting issues and with Haddin part of the line up, 6 batters + Haddin should make up the 7 followed by the 4 best bowlers. I think Aus are getting carried away with trying to have a "watto" role. Firstly there is only one Watto and that should be the end of the argument. If in doubt please ask Eng who have now stopped looking for the next Botham after trying all sorts of options who could barely bat or bowl.

  • POSTED BY wibblewibble on | November 11, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    I like Bailey as an ODI player but thumping Sharma around on flat tracks is not that similar to facing Anderson or Broad with a new cherry on a Test track.

  • POSTED BY Kaka13 on | November 11, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    The suggested playing 11 - Rogers, Warner, Watson(Baily), Clarks, Smith, Haddin, Faulkner, Jhonson, Siddle, Lyon, Harris

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    Wheres Usman Kwaja he should bat 3

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | November 11, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    @Syed: Fawad is not good enough. Just because he is a legspinner doesn't make him a show in. He has to do a lot more to get into the team over a guy with 25 tests under his belt with experience of touring the world and nearly has 100 TEST wickets.

    You can't pick an iffy legspinner on a hunch in a high pressure, must win ashes series.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | November 11, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    The biggest problem for Aus will be if If Watson can't ball. Harris is head & shoulders above any of the other Aus seamers and has to play but as we know he is fragile & will need to be protected with a 5 man attack which will likley mean Faulkner at 7, which I think leaves them a batsman short. With Johnson likley to play as the 3rd seamer that also means that Aus will have 2 left armers which gaves an advantage to Swann. They could drop Lyon for the extra seamer but I always think it's dangerous to go in to any test match without 1 frontline spinner.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | November 11, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    @DangerTroy, re Bailey perhaps he isn't a short form specialist, but his FC record is none too impressive, if it was he certainly wouldn't have had to wait this long to make the test side.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    Where is Fawad Ahmed ? Why nathan Lyon ?

  • POSTED BY Bamber on | November 11, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    Drakester Bomber on (November 11, 2013, 11:24 GMT).... half a chance to bowl England out twice. Agree entirely, you'll be lucky to bowl England out once and even then it'll be for 500+ every time. Come on England.

  • POSTED BY DylanBrah on | November 11, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    I'm predicting a big series for Rogers, Warner, Smith.

  • POSTED BY First_Drop on | November 11, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    @DangerTroy - have to agree with you mostly, but am nervous and concerned about Bailey. His ODI ave is outstanding, but his FC average is....average. Cosgrove looks good, but has anyone considered Maddinson? Full of potential - my only concern would be blooding (really dropping him in the deep endof an Ashes series) too early.

  • POSTED BY First_Drop on | November 11, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    If he doesn't perform, this could be Mitch's last test....

  • POSTED BY Mitch1066 on | November 11, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Unlike the great Australian team of old this team does not scare England anymore. For Australia to beat England they have bowl well and bat well and in first innings make 450 plus to stand any chance . I feel sum of these comments forget England beat your side ands not playing well with misfiring batting line up. If England's batsmen and bowler stand up unless they make loads of runs I doubt it be. That even contest . Certainly without pattingson starc pressure be in siddle as he consistent and injured prone Harris who also quality bowler and Johnson who quality but hit/ miss at times . I'd still take England bowlers over the Aussies ones even when there average lower.

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | November 11, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    It's good to see we're getting a better idea of who are test players and who aren't. Hopefully they'll stick with this squad for the first three tests. Hughes is on the fringe and I still rate him, he just needs to have better shot selection. The Sheffield Shield matches are the most interesting in over two decades due to the competition for test places. I wonder how Pattinson's fitness is going?

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | November 11, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    I am thrilled to bits! The days of Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting are back! 16 Test wins consectively,twice in a row! The players automatically select themselves.Go, Aussies, go!

  • POSTED BY Dangertroy on | November 11, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    Man, if I read one more comment about bailey being a short format specialist, my head will explode. He averages more in fc than list a. End of story. He is ready to play and I'll back him to deliver.

    @ latecut - yes, they are all injured. Hilfy didn't play in england, so I don't think he was not pitching it up enough. Unless you mean in 2009, when he was one of the highest wicket takers...

    @ everyone - Lyon is the spinner. He's not going to set the world on fire, but he does a job well. Yes, its a shame O'Keefe will once again be overlooked, but Lyon hasn't done enough wrong to be dropped, even though I know the selectors like to drop spinners for sport.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | November 11, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Regardless of the squad that is picked, it will be no match for a powerful English lineup. I am trying to work out the Aussies will win a test and I have come to the conclusion that it won't occur. 4-0 England

  • POSTED BY DylanBrah on | November 11, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    Ben Hilfenhaus hasn't done anything to deserve to be in the squad.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | November 11, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    It's all about Fawad Ahmed

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    The probable XI looks good... But I would have had Doherty in place of Lyon

  • POSTED BY latecut_04 on | November 11, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Whatever happened to Pattinson,Bird,Cummins???are they injured?Hilfy should have bowled fuller and swung more in England and how come he has become an automatic choice.Strong domestic perfromance since then may be?this is from India and asking genuine doubts.The current Shield batsmen arent as good as Ricky Ponting(going by Aus media reports till Punter retired) and doemstic performances need to be considered with a pinch of salt.If quick,bouncy pitches (like Perth)are on offer Pattinson/Cummins or even Mitch can be destructive.@F"A green seamer in Brisbane with Johnno bowling short at Pommy batsmen who don't play it well - we would be in with a big chance! "-How about Anderson,Tremlett,Broad bowling against the likes of Warner,Cowan,Smith,Haddin etc on the very same track???Go for fast,bouncy pitches and play to your strength ie bowling--Aus!!!

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | November 11, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    That's a decent squad there indeed. Yeah I've had fun constantly sledging a few names there, but I can't deny there's a number of players on the list that could really be game-changing. Home conditions; most players showing glimpses of good form; injuries galore in the England camp and several positions there still undecided through lack of practice and what-not... I am SO glad I never joined in that whole '5-0' baloney. #Gotta love the Ashes!

  • POSTED BY featurewriter on | November 11, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    I'm not convinced that Australia currently needs a full-time spinner in their lineup. We don't have anyone the calibre of Warne or McGill and despite being an honest toiler, Lyon isn't world-class. I'd prefer to see us bolster our batting by having Cam White in the team to bowl his leggies. My team (on current fitness/availability) would be: Warner, Rogers, Clarke, Watson, Smith, White, Faulkner, Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Siddle. I'd have Doolan and Cutting as 12 and 13. While George Bailey has developed in the short format, he hasn't done well in first-class cricket for more than a year. I like the guy as a leader, but I think there are better options. I also think Lynn and Ahmed may get a crack this summer. Eddie Cowan has shown some form, but I think his ship has sailed. (And Khawaja and Hughes need more time in first-class cricket.) Despite the calls for Steve O'Keefe to get a sniff, I've seen him play a number of Shield games and I'm not convinced yet. I rate White ahead of SOK.

  • POSTED BY pontingkhan on | November 11, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    Nice solid probable lineup. Guess where Finch, Agar, Ahmed, Khawaja and Maxwell are ?

  • POSTED BY twofer on | November 11, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    Believe that "no-brainer" was an unfortunate choice of words here. The obvious choice to succeed Michael Clarke as captain is no sure selection himself but it would be good to see Australia's captaincy stakes on the rise. I don't think Clarke is as good a captain as Ponting, Ponting not as good as Waugh, and Waugh nowhere near as good as Taylor.

  • POSTED BY Jeremy303 on | November 11, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    I honestly don't think Bailey is the best replacement for Watson. MARK COSGROVE should be his replacement at 1st drop. Bailey to be used down the order. Lyon isn't a bad spinner, but O'Keefe is about as good and shades him because he can score runs. My OZ XI: 1. Rogers, 2. Warner, 3. COSGROVE, 4. Clarke, 5. Smith, 6. Bailey, 7. Haddin, 8. O'Keefe, 9. Johnson, 10. Siddle, 11. Harris.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    If the selectors pick Harris, Lyon, Johnson and Siddle we are half a chance to bowl England out twice. If they finally pick and stick with Bailey, we will have a number six who thrives on pressure and with a track record of turning an innings around. I still don't think that David Warner is a Test opener and his poor technique will be exploited by the English seamers - wish they would pick Watson and Rogers as they openers.

    England are ripe for the taking since their batsmen have been worked out.

    The only thing we need to do is to convince the groundsmen to prepare wickets which suit our pace bowlers...its only what occurred in India and England preparing dust bowls. A green seamer in Brisbane with Johnno bowling short at Pommy batsmen who don't play it well - we would be in with a big chance!

  • POSTED BY Big_Maxy_Walker on | November 11, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    This squad will result in a 5 nil drubbing or certainly no test wins for Australia. Probably the best thing that could happen to Aussie cricket. Maybe some real change might actually occur. Warner, a guy who will have one or two scores and the rest failures, Watson who will probably not get through the series, Johnson who cannot put two balls on the same spot, Lyon who has been outbowled by O'Keefe two shield games in a row, Haddin who watches catches go past him, and throws away his wicket at every opportunity, Hilfy who is pedestrian and slow if there is no swing, George Bailey who's game is entirely legside and full of risky ODI shots, and Peter Siddle who gets all his wickets in an Ashes series in 1 or 2 matches and fails the rest. Good luck with that!

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | November 11, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    I agree that this squad is strong enough to beat England In Australia, but a lot of things need to go right for us, the most important being we bond well as a team. Our team culture isn't as strong as England's therefore we are more likely to crumble if we are put under pressure which is why that first test is important for us to get first blood.

    Unlike the 2010/11 English team, this 2013 English team has cracks, and i think we can expose those cracks if we put them under pressure long enough. Winning first test will throw the cat amongst the pigeons.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | November 11, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    @robertito, I agree, I dint think we need a specialist spinner in Brisbane. Actually, until we have a really good one I would pick one. There are already spin options in the team. Could Cameron White be a dark horse here? Would strengthen the batting and he is bowling well right now.

  • POSTED BY KARNAWAT33 on | November 11, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Despite Jimmy's explosive show with the bat in India, I won't back his ability to bat at No.6 against the likes of Anderson and Swann. Faulkner is definitely a bright prospect, an all rounder in the making, but as of now his main job should be to take wickets. A balanced XI for Gabba would be (in batting order):

    Warner, Rogers (Explosive and experienced opening pair, both batsmen are in form)

    Clarke (As PUNTER said, "The best batsman should bat at No.3")

    Bailey, Smith, Watson (a middle order which has the right mix of youth and experience, all batsmen can adapt and play in any mode as per the requirement of the team)

    Haddin (not in great form, but a fierce competitor and Oz's best glove man)

    Faulkner, Johnson, Siddle, Harris (A strong pace attack on the green tinge of Gabba)

    Smith's leg spin can be put go good use, plus Pup n Watto can chip in a few. Playing Agar or Lyon would prove useless, but if OZ want to play a spinner for the 'heck of it', Harris can be replaced.

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | November 11, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    Based on your possible squad, Hilfy&Faulkner would sit out - [rogers, warner, watson, clarke, smith, bailey, haddin, johnson, siddle, harris, lyon]. If Watson doesn't make it, then Bailey has to be the one "sacrificed" at first drop(Clarke won't cut it in the top 3), with Faulkner coming in after Haddin. I think Haddin should retire after this series. By my estimation he has been the weak link. Hopefully he has a big series and opts to go out on a high as a result. Meanwhile Paine&Wade must get their act together. I favour Paine for the long format, and Wade for the short formats. I shudder at the thought of Ryno, Sids&Hilfy forming the pace attack. Throw in Trott&Cook(thank God Collingwood retired) and we're set for another dull Ashes down under! Must be Mitch or one of the tall pacy youngsters to mix things up. As for the predictions, if KP is unfit(Prior's on a decline anyway) then Aus should take it. The young "Yorkshiremen" JB, GB&JR in the middle order would make easy pickings.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    IMO This should be our team

    1. Chris Rogers 2.David Warner 3. Shane Watson 4. Michael Clarke 5. Steve Smith 6. George Bailey 7. Brad Haddin WK 8. James Falkner 9. Steven O'Keefe (Seriously, why is he overlooked? He is a great spinner and he can bat too) 10. Peter Siddle 11. Ryan Harris

  • POSTED BY Shazza143 on | November 11, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Australia have a strong team that can beat England ! inform batsman and bowlers, it will be a fun series. I think Steve Smith is good enough to bat at 4 and Clarke can go back to this fav spot of number 5. My 11 for the first test : 1. Chris Rogers 2. David Warner 3. Shane Watson 4. Steve Smith 5. Micheal Clarke 6. George Bailey 7. Brad Haddin 8. Mitchell Johnson 9. Peter Siddle 10. Ryan Harris 11.Nathan Lyon

  • POSTED BY ravi_hari on | November 11, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    Not many countries declare their team so much in advance. It is almost telling what is the playing XI if you are going to announce only 12. Once should appreciate CA approach and confidence. Every team, especially Indian should follow this. You pick only those who will play. Why carry baggage. After a long time CA can finish selection without actually having to discuss on positions and candidates. Pick the 12 and name a backup for Watson. It is that simple. The XI played at Oval is good enough for the first test. Jhonson replaces Starc - period. If you need to strengthen batting pick Bailey else go with only One forced change. I am sure Watson will recover and will also bowl at the Gabba. Warner and Rogers are in good form and it is important that they give a good start in the first innings to allow Watson and Clarke play freely. Smith and Bailey can tackle spin and Haddin with bowlers can deliver the late order onslaught. Hope Aussies start with a win and put pressure on England.

  • POSTED BY Robertito on | November 11, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    I'm of the opinion that Nathan Lyon is the best choice for our spinner, and I'm optimistic that the selectors won't bung in Fawad Ahmed on the off chance he'll step up and transform into a Test class bowler. However, careful thought needs to be given as to whether we need a spinner at all in Brisbane. In the Warne days, you picked a spinner regardless of where you played, but it might be a better choice to have four fast bowlers and a medium pacer if the pitch is verdant or this swing bowling weather contiues.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Well, in order to beat England, you need the likes of Pattinson, Cummins and Fawad Ahmed. I don't think this squad is strong enough .. Let's see!!

  • POSTED BY milepost on | November 11, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Looks a squad that can beat England in Australia. Cricket starts next week so no need for any predictions, the cricket will sort that out.

  • POSTED BY dickiebrewsters on | November 11, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Although he's their best bowler, Harris is surely a risk if Watson is unfit to bowl/play. If he's out, that could mean either Faulkner at 6 or Hilfenhaus in as a workhorse to be 1 of the main 3 & to cover Watson's overs

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY dickiebrewsters on | November 11, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Although he's their best bowler, Harris is surely a risk if Watson is unfit to bowl/play. If he's out, that could mean either Faulkner at 6 or Hilfenhaus in as a workhorse to be 1 of the main 3 & to cover Watson's overs

  • POSTED BY milepost on | November 11, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Looks a squad that can beat England in Australia. Cricket starts next week so no need for any predictions, the cricket will sort that out.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Well, in order to beat England, you need the likes of Pattinson, Cummins and Fawad Ahmed. I don't think this squad is strong enough .. Let's see!!

  • POSTED BY Robertito on | November 11, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    I'm of the opinion that Nathan Lyon is the best choice for our spinner, and I'm optimistic that the selectors won't bung in Fawad Ahmed on the off chance he'll step up and transform into a Test class bowler. However, careful thought needs to be given as to whether we need a spinner at all in Brisbane. In the Warne days, you picked a spinner regardless of where you played, but it might be a better choice to have four fast bowlers and a medium pacer if the pitch is verdant or this swing bowling weather contiues.

  • POSTED BY ravi_hari on | November 11, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    Not many countries declare their team so much in advance. It is almost telling what is the playing XI if you are going to announce only 12. Once should appreciate CA approach and confidence. Every team, especially Indian should follow this. You pick only those who will play. Why carry baggage. After a long time CA can finish selection without actually having to discuss on positions and candidates. Pick the 12 and name a backup for Watson. It is that simple. The XI played at Oval is good enough for the first test. Jhonson replaces Starc - period. If you need to strengthen batting pick Bailey else go with only One forced change. I am sure Watson will recover and will also bowl at the Gabba. Warner and Rogers are in good form and it is important that they give a good start in the first innings to allow Watson and Clarke play freely. Smith and Bailey can tackle spin and Haddin with bowlers can deliver the late order onslaught. Hope Aussies start with a win and put pressure on England.

  • POSTED BY Shazza143 on | November 11, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Australia have a strong team that can beat England ! inform batsman and bowlers, it will be a fun series. I think Steve Smith is good enough to bat at 4 and Clarke can go back to this fav spot of number 5. My 11 for the first test : 1. Chris Rogers 2. David Warner 3. Shane Watson 4. Steve Smith 5. Micheal Clarke 6. George Bailey 7. Brad Haddin 8. Mitchell Johnson 9. Peter Siddle 10. Ryan Harris 11.Nathan Lyon

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    IMO This should be our team

    1. Chris Rogers 2.David Warner 3. Shane Watson 4. Michael Clarke 5. Steve Smith 6. George Bailey 7. Brad Haddin WK 8. James Falkner 9. Steven O'Keefe (Seriously, why is he overlooked? He is a great spinner and he can bat too) 10. Peter Siddle 11. Ryan Harris

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | November 11, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    Based on your possible squad, Hilfy&Faulkner would sit out - [rogers, warner, watson, clarke, smith, bailey, haddin, johnson, siddle, harris, lyon]. If Watson doesn't make it, then Bailey has to be the one "sacrificed" at first drop(Clarke won't cut it in the top 3), with Faulkner coming in after Haddin. I think Haddin should retire after this series. By my estimation he has been the weak link. Hopefully he has a big series and opts to go out on a high as a result. Meanwhile Paine&Wade must get their act together. I favour Paine for the long format, and Wade for the short formats. I shudder at the thought of Ryno, Sids&Hilfy forming the pace attack. Throw in Trott&Cook(thank God Collingwood retired) and we're set for another dull Ashes down under! Must be Mitch or one of the tall pacy youngsters to mix things up. As for the predictions, if KP is unfit(Prior's on a decline anyway) then Aus should take it. The young "Yorkshiremen" JB, GB&JR in the middle order would make easy pickings.

  • POSTED BY KARNAWAT33 on | November 11, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Despite Jimmy's explosive show with the bat in India, I won't back his ability to bat at No.6 against the likes of Anderson and Swann. Faulkner is definitely a bright prospect, an all rounder in the making, but as of now his main job should be to take wickets. A balanced XI for Gabba would be (in batting order):

    Warner, Rogers (Explosive and experienced opening pair, both batsmen are in form)

    Clarke (As PUNTER said, "The best batsman should bat at No.3")

    Bailey, Smith, Watson (a middle order which has the right mix of youth and experience, all batsmen can adapt and play in any mode as per the requirement of the team)

    Haddin (not in great form, but a fierce competitor and Oz's best glove man)

    Faulkner, Johnson, Siddle, Harris (A strong pace attack on the green tinge of Gabba)

    Smith's leg spin can be put go good use, plus Pup n Watto can chip in a few. Playing Agar or Lyon would prove useless, but if OZ want to play a spinner for the 'heck of it', Harris can be replaced.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | November 11, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    @robertito, I agree, I dint think we need a specialist spinner in Brisbane. Actually, until we have a really good one I would pick one. There are already spin options in the team. Could Cameron White be a dark horse here? Would strengthen the batting and he is bowling well right now.