Somerset v Australians, Taunton June 25, 2013

Clarke, Faulkner in for Somerset match

57

To the tangible relief of the tour party, not to mention half of Australia, captain Michael Clarke is fit to play in his side's first warm-up match ahead of the Investec Ashes Tests, while Darren Lehmann's coaching residency has begun aggressively as promised with the selection of five bowlers.

Clarke trained freely at the County Ground in Taunton on Tuesday morning, and vice-captain Brad Haddin said there had been no indication of the back trouble that forced Clarke to stay in London, away from the team, during a horrid and dysfunctional Champions Trophy tilt that sealed the fate of the former coach Mickey Arthur.

"Michael's playing," Haddin said. "It's great news, first game on tour and the Australian captain's pretty excited. He's in a good spot, he had a good catch and a bit of a net. It's our first day on tour, and it's not hard to get up for an Ashes campaign. This is the first day. If you can't have a smile on your face and be excited about what lies ahead, you're never going to be up for a cricket contest. Morale's good."

Chris Rogers was made to wait another week for his chance to play for Australia once more, but Haddin said this was largely as a result of his abundance of time in the middle over recent months for Middlesex.

"That's the side we've decided to go for in this practice game, we've got another one just before the Test and it was important that we wanted to give this group a hit," Haddin said. "It makes sense that Chris has been playing a lot of cricket over the last couple of months so he's in pretty good touch."

James Faulkner's inclusion is perhaps the most significant choice in the XI for the match against Somerset, as it opens up the possibility of Australia making full use of their major strength by choosing an extra bowler at the expense of a relatively mediocre collection of batsmen. Faulkner's confidence and poise has impressed many members of the squad.

"I'm not going to think about where I'm going to bat or bowl," Faulkner said this week. "The games I've played so far in domestic cricket, I've batted everywhere, so it's just a matter of when you get told where you're batting you get your head around what your job is and do it the best you can. You don't think about fifties or hundreds or five-fors or anything like that, just go out there and play your natural game and back your preparation.

"I feel a bit of responsibility I suppose and in any game I play in as an allrounder, you know you're going to be in the game and you know there's going to be moments when you have to step up. There's going to be times when things don't go to plan as well."

Among Somerset's XI will be Nick Compton, now effectively deposed as a Test opener by Joe Root's selection ahead of him in England's team for a pre-Ashes fixture against Essex. Not that this was any concern of Haddin. "I haven't seen their squad and my job's to make sure we're ready to go tomorrow and get ourselves right for these first two practice games," he said. "I'm not here to second guess who's in their team and who's not."

Ryan Harris and Jackson Bird were left out after their return from injuries for Australia A against Gloucestershire in Bristol, though there are no concerns over their fitness.

Australians squad: Michael Clarke (capt), Ed Cowan, Usman Khawaja, Shane Watson, Phillip Hughes, James Faulkner, Brad Haddin (wk), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 25, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    Logically you'd think that this match is a straight fight between Starc and Faulkner for a position. The Kiwis went with two left-armers at Headingley and Swann took the rewards from that with a 10-wicket haul. Given how Australia have played spin in the last 12 months, giving the opposition slow bowlers any help must be off the cards. For me it's Pattinson and Bird to open, Siddle and Faulkner, with a slow bowler to follow. I'd happily throw Ashton Agar straight in there. Many would worry about a long tail but I don't see that Australia can bat England out of the game as they used to in the past. For Australia to win the Ashes, they need to rattle England out. They haven't got the destructive batting of yore so attacking through bowling is the key.

  • shuvo_bba on July 1, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Where is Ryan Harris ? He will certainly do well aganist English batters in windy conditions.

  • gangulys. on June 27, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    My team for australia..Clarke(C),Ed cowan,warner,watson,hughes,haddin+,faulkner,starc,pattinson,lyon,siddle....

  • on June 26, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    Finally, why is Steve Smith not playing here? The lad was building up some good momentum, he's been added to the squad and surely far more likely to play than Faulkner in the tests? We need so desperately form batsmen to stand up, the guy just gets onto his feet and then he is left out? I just don't understand any of it! There is just too much random opportunity and not enough focussed effort on the top say 12-13 guys who'll actually be playing in the first couple of tests. There needs to be decisions taken as to who is in the best xi and then give them every chance to perform, its all too whishy washy what Invers and co are doing right now, no-one knows there role, feels secure in their place or has the confidence that they are going to still be there after the first two matches, it's a joke!

  • on June 26, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    @ScottStevo, once again I find myself in strenous agreement with your good self! I have no idea what we are trying to do here, the time for experimentation is surely over, just 2 weeks before kick-off in the main game and we still have no idea what our best xi is? If they are going to open now with Watto, where does that leave him as a bowling option? Where does it leave Rogers, who I would have thought would be a walk up start? Why on earth is Rogers not playing and trying to build up some sort of combination with the other top order batsmen? Its not like Hughes and Cowan are stellar between the wickets, they need to get accustomed to each other now! I also sincerely hope that they've decided on Patto, Siddle and Starc as the starting line up for the first test, if not then they are leaving Harris and or Bird awfully short of work. Why is Faulkner playing here? Is he a realistic option as 3rd seamer or to hold down the no.6 batting spot? At this stage it would be no and no!

  • colc on June 26, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    Not going that well so far for our colonial cousins..................

  • ScottStevo on June 26, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    How many people with such flawed logic, batting is our weakness and bowling our strength, so take away a batsman and add a bowler because if 5 blokes can't get the job done, 6 will! Seriously?!?! We're struggling to score 200 every other innings and we think that a 6th bowler will help the situation? I'm reading that the bowlers are all pretty handy with the bat, their runs are what's known as bonus runs - nice to get them, but don't rely on them. As in, if we're 5-150 chasing 300, I'd be backing us to lose as these aren't the guys meant to be puting runs up and will fold every time. Before you say 6th bowler, As it stands we will start with 4 bowlers and we will definitely use watson as a 5th front line bowler. If we start any test match with less than 6 specialist batsmen, we'll have lost before a ball is bowled. Even when Gilly was keeping, he batted at 7, why on Earth would u think anyone better can bat 6? Someone said Wade as specialist batsmen - deluded, he shouldn't even be here

  • satishchandar on June 26, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    The Australian think-tank should look to maintain same composition.. Play Haddin at 6 and leave bowler who can bat at 7.. It may be Faulkner/Starc/Mitch/Pattinson but someone need to play at 7 even if it is higher for them.. All the likes of them can bat and even Siddle and Agar can bat well.. Honestly on current form, the tail of Aussies can do better job than top order.. that is what they did in the Indian tour.. Aussies MUST play Khawaja till he ends up like Hughes.. Allow him to fail atleast.. My 11 would be, Cowan, Watson, Hughes(No other option??), Clarke, Khawaja, Haddin, Siddle, Faulkner, Starc, Pattinson and Lyon.. Aussies look woefully short of practice till now and it would require big slice of change of fortune from Boof to cause a turnaround and stop a one sided Ashes!!

  • KGY27 on June 26, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    I'm glad Darren Lehman is our new coach. He's a down to earth and level headed thinker who will bring that simplicity back into the side. The game against Somerset will be interesting and it would be great to see our batsmen put their heads down, work hard and get the desired results. The poms are so cocky and I guess they have a right to be but they struggled against NZ ( who's batting was just tragic) which is why the Aussies are in with a chance now.

  • Munkeymomo on June 26, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    As someone who didn't get an Ashes ticket, I'm just looking forwards to seeing the Aussies! Hope our cidermen can give 'em a good warm up!

  • on June 25, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    Logically you'd think that this match is a straight fight between Starc and Faulkner for a position. The Kiwis went with two left-armers at Headingley and Swann took the rewards from that with a 10-wicket haul. Given how Australia have played spin in the last 12 months, giving the opposition slow bowlers any help must be off the cards. For me it's Pattinson and Bird to open, Siddle and Faulkner, with a slow bowler to follow. I'd happily throw Ashton Agar straight in there. Many would worry about a long tail but I don't see that Australia can bat England out of the game as they used to in the past. For Australia to win the Ashes, they need to rattle England out. They haven't got the destructive batting of yore so attacking through bowling is the key.

  • shuvo_bba on July 1, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Where is Ryan Harris ? He will certainly do well aganist English batters in windy conditions.

  • gangulys. on June 27, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    My team for australia..Clarke(C),Ed cowan,warner,watson,hughes,haddin+,faulkner,starc,pattinson,lyon,siddle....

  • on June 26, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    Finally, why is Steve Smith not playing here? The lad was building up some good momentum, he's been added to the squad and surely far more likely to play than Faulkner in the tests? We need so desperately form batsmen to stand up, the guy just gets onto his feet and then he is left out? I just don't understand any of it! There is just too much random opportunity and not enough focussed effort on the top say 12-13 guys who'll actually be playing in the first couple of tests. There needs to be decisions taken as to who is in the best xi and then give them every chance to perform, its all too whishy washy what Invers and co are doing right now, no-one knows there role, feels secure in their place or has the confidence that they are going to still be there after the first two matches, it's a joke!

  • on June 26, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    @ScottStevo, once again I find myself in strenous agreement with your good self! I have no idea what we are trying to do here, the time for experimentation is surely over, just 2 weeks before kick-off in the main game and we still have no idea what our best xi is? If they are going to open now with Watto, where does that leave him as a bowling option? Where does it leave Rogers, who I would have thought would be a walk up start? Why on earth is Rogers not playing and trying to build up some sort of combination with the other top order batsmen? Its not like Hughes and Cowan are stellar between the wickets, they need to get accustomed to each other now! I also sincerely hope that they've decided on Patto, Siddle and Starc as the starting line up for the first test, if not then they are leaving Harris and or Bird awfully short of work. Why is Faulkner playing here? Is he a realistic option as 3rd seamer or to hold down the no.6 batting spot? At this stage it would be no and no!

  • colc on June 26, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    Not going that well so far for our colonial cousins..................

  • ScottStevo on June 26, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    How many people with such flawed logic, batting is our weakness and bowling our strength, so take away a batsman and add a bowler because if 5 blokes can't get the job done, 6 will! Seriously?!?! We're struggling to score 200 every other innings and we think that a 6th bowler will help the situation? I'm reading that the bowlers are all pretty handy with the bat, their runs are what's known as bonus runs - nice to get them, but don't rely on them. As in, if we're 5-150 chasing 300, I'd be backing us to lose as these aren't the guys meant to be puting runs up and will fold every time. Before you say 6th bowler, As it stands we will start with 4 bowlers and we will definitely use watson as a 5th front line bowler. If we start any test match with less than 6 specialist batsmen, we'll have lost before a ball is bowled. Even when Gilly was keeping, he batted at 7, why on Earth would u think anyone better can bat 6? Someone said Wade as specialist batsmen - deluded, he shouldn't even be here

  • satishchandar on June 26, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    The Australian think-tank should look to maintain same composition.. Play Haddin at 6 and leave bowler who can bat at 7.. It may be Faulkner/Starc/Mitch/Pattinson but someone need to play at 7 even if it is higher for them.. All the likes of them can bat and even Siddle and Agar can bat well.. Honestly on current form, the tail of Aussies can do better job than top order.. that is what they did in the Indian tour.. Aussies MUST play Khawaja till he ends up like Hughes.. Allow him to fail atleast.. My 11 would be, Cowan, Watson, Hughes(No other option??), Clarke, Khawaja, Haddin, Siddle, Faulkner, Starc, Pattinson and Lyon.. Aussies look woefully short of practice till now and it would require big slice of change of fortune from Boof to cause a turnaround and stop a one sided Ashes!!

  • KGY27 on June 26, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    I'm glad Darren Lehman is our new coach. He's a down to earth and level headed thinker who will bring that simplicity back into the side. The game against Somerset will be interesting and it would be great to see our batsmen put their heads down, work hard and get the desired results. The poms are so cocky and I guess they have a right to be but they struggled against NZ ( who's batting was just tragic) which is why the Aussies are in with a chance now.

  • Munkeymomo on June 26, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    As someone who didn't get an Ashes ticket, I'm just looking forwards to seeing the Aussies! Hope our cidermen can give 'em a good warm up!

  • Moppa on June 26, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    I should add to my earlier comment, as I've previously been critical of 'bits and pieces' all-rounders. The problem with Maxwell and Henriques in India was, largely, that they aren't front-line bowlers nor front-line batsmen. By contrast, Faulkner is a front line bowler - I'll take a FC bowling average of 22, thanks! The fact that he can bat a bit is a bonus that, in some cases, could allow you to consciously change the balance of the team to exaggerate a bowling strength, knowing that by dropping Watson/Warner/Hughes you're not losing much batting either.

  • Moppa on June 26, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    @Barnsey444, the team balance for this match doesn't mean anything, it just reflects that the hierarchy wants to share the bowling load. I'm still predicting 6-1-4 for Trent Bridge. However, Faulkner a genuine option to move to 5-1-5 later in the series. More broadly, 5-1-5 is unorthodox but a genuine option if we get to desperate straits later in the series. When your batsmen are lucky to make 30 and your bowlers regularly make 50s, why not play 5-1-5? The main kicker with it is that bowlers find it easier to make runs when batting at 8, 9 or 10 with no pressure, but move them up to 7 and the equation changes. E.g. when Johnson batted 7 in Sydney. Only Faulkner has the pedigree to do it, noting that he doesn't have a first class ton but has better technique and has batted as high as six in Shield cricket at times.

  • dunger.bob on June 26, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    I would use this match as a form guide between Watson and Faulkner. I like Watto but I don't think he should be opening in Tests. If he plays, it should be as an all rounder because, I'm sorry to say, he just ain't quite good enough to bat in the top 4. As an all-rounder, I think Faulkner is the better proposition. He has energy and hustle and tries to make things happen. Watto, on the other hand, always looks slightly comatose to me and is a RISKY man to bowl because he might blow a muscle off his leg. We can't afford 2 all-rounders in the Test side and I would go with Faulkner at this point.

    @ Andy Plowright: Agree whole-heartedly with your final summary. Our only hope is to rattle England's cage enough with the bowling to give our spasmodic batting efforts the best chance of having an impact. Keeping a lid on your opening batsmen would be a very good start. Consistent sub 50 starts begin to erode confidence sooner or later... it's not a classic Aussie game-plan, but it's something.

  • Barnesy4444 on June 26, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    We need a full 6 specialist batsmen. We are not going to win anything if we get bowled out cheaply on a regular basis, 5 bowlers or not. We need to give all of our batsmen as many opportunites as possible to find form. Haddin at 7.

  • dutchy on June 26, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    I think Rogers has been rested because after his county form he will be the second batsman picked after Clarke. But the fact is they need to sort out the opening combination so they should have selected him so they can experiment with Watson, Hughes, Rogers, Cowan.

  • Macker60 on June 26, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    Can I ask a simple Question Why should Australian Batsman be worried about Swan With a bowling Average of 40 against us More interesting is that James Anderson record is no better at 38. And both performed better in Australia than England. As for the Line up Rogers and Cowan Are certs Based on there County Performance over the Last two Months.

  • Mary_786 on June 26, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    We seem to usually have plenty of openers and as much as people laugh at us we are ok in the opening department. When you consider Clarke at 4/5 and that we have only now just lost Hussey, the lower order has also looked after itself. Where we have been horrible since Ponting lost the plot is at three and it is such a pivotal position in the lineup and i really hope Khawaja is able to make that position his as he is the best number 3 in the country. When I was growing up we were always tought that essentially your best batsman comes in at first drop - hasn't been the case for Australia for about five (5) years…In any event, and though Clarke is our best batsman, Khawaja in my opinion is our best young batsman at present for number 3. It seems quite a known thing that Mr Clarke wasn't going to bat that high and they did nothing to groom a replacement for Ponting. Instead of stuffing around with five bowlers and bit=part all rounders, Khawaja should have played fifteen (15) tests by now

  • Amith_S on June 26, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    The thing is that most batsman in Australia has a weakness against the swinging ball with the exception of Rogers and Khawaja which is why i see these 2 guys as key batsman for us not including Clarke who is our best batsman. The fortitude both Khawaja and Rogers have shown in scoring in tough conditions shows that they are the key batsman for me. I hope they do well in the warm up games even though i know rogers is not playing this one.

  • PFEL on June 26, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    A lot of people don't like Cowan . . . fact is his place is secure. Whether or not it SHOULD be secure is another question, but undoubtedly Cowan deserves the spot ahead of Watson, Hughes and Warner (who have been dreadful)

  • VivGilchrist on June 26, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    On what basis are people putting Starc in there starting Test XI? Is it his Test record of 30 wickets at 34? Is it his FC record of 98 wickets at 33? Is it his current form? Why is this guy gifted a spot in TEST cricket without deserving it? Meanwhile, Sayers is back home in Australia after being the Sheild leading wicket taker, and the pick of the bowlers on the 'A' tour. Argus review anyone?

  • on June 26, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    Line-up? Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, Haddin, Faulkner, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon...

    Test line-up? Cowan, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Watson, Haddin, Faulkner, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc...

  • on June 26, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    but since absence of Warner i feel we need to include extra batsmen , rather than all-rounder for no 6 place. i'll pick Roges for Warner and Smith as batsmen. so my XI :

    Ed Cowan,Chris Rogers, Phillip Hughes, , Shane Watson,Michael Clarke ,Steve Smith , Brad Haddin (wk), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon

    this is best , since Watson is there as all-rounder we no need another a all-rounder and as part time bowler smith will be handy than Faulkner.

  • TeamRocker on June 26, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    I would actually go ahead and play Faulkner @ no. 7. He's a fighter, has good temperament and brings a lot to the table. Cowan and Watson are basically fighting for that opening spot along with Rogers. Khawaja and Hughes are another pair looking for the number 3 spot. Starc and Faulkner fighting for the left arm bowlers place in the team. Agar looks in good form with bat and ball, but I don't have any problems with Lyon instead.

    This should be the team for the first match: Rogers, Watson/Cowan, Khawaja/Hughes, Clarke, Smith (?), Haddin, Faulkner/Starc/Bird, Harris, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon

  • PFEL on June 26, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    @MrArmchairCricket, Shane Watson is one of the only batsmen in the squad who is NOT an incumbent opening batsman. Strictly speaking they would be Cowan and Warner. But hopefully Warner will be dropped finally and Rogers take his place.

  • MrArmchairCricket on June 26, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    I agree with MansThe Pm; Shane Watson is basically the incumbent opening batsman, so it'd make more sense resting him, especially given his history of injury, and giving Ed Cowan and Chris Rogers a crack at opening. I'd also have liked to see Matty Wade in the side as a specialist batsman, because he'd give Phil Hughes a run for his money.

    DylanBrah; Faulkner may not bat at 7 for Tassie, but he is more than capable of doing the job.

    Andy Carr: I agree, "Dermie" is underrated, but a lot of Aussies have grown up on Glenn McGrath, and expect bowlers to strike every 22 or so runs.

  • chicko1983 on June 26, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    This will be the 1st test XI except Rogers will be in for either Kawaja or Hughes.

  • AhmedEsat on June 26, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    Rogers is in good shape playing county cricket. Lehmann is giving a final opportunity to the fringe players and those who need it most.

  • class9ryan on June 26, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    Too many left handers at the top - surely Warner and Rogers should make it into the 11. Not sure if Lyon is in for a game this Ashes

  • Dashgar on June 26, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    I like this plan of playing Faulkner. He's no superstar with the bat that is true but he is a fighter and right now we need some players willing to fight. He also could be a terror if England produce some green tops. Rogers will come into this side soon. It's just a matter of for who, Khawaja or Hughes. We'll have a better idea of the sides makeup after the second warm up but I think there'll also be some surprises, even a late call up or two.

  • bobagorof on June 26, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    @ManThes Pm: Did you even read the article? Rogers has been playing all season for Middlesex so is already familiar with the conditions. Khawaja and Hughes could do with some more time in the middle to regain/build on their form so I'd rather have them play than Rogers at this point. I'm sure he'll play the next warm-up.

  • rickeap on June 26, 2013, 1:44 GMT

    1 Rogers, 2 Watson, 3 D Hussey 4 Clarke 5 G. Bailey, 6 Warner, 7 Haddin ... but that's not going to happen

  • on June 26, 2013, 1:39 GMT

    People need to relax. It's a warm up game against a county side. The idea is to try out different players and give them consistent runs in the team. It's not the final test side. That's why Khawaja is there and that's why Faulkner is batting seven.

    The main focus on this match will likely be to settle on an opening pair while giving the bowlers a chance to have somewhat of a 'bowl off' for the remaining spots. W

    We're pace heavy... I'd find it really hard to pick 3 quicks out of those 6, given that Pattinson and Harris should be no-brainers, while Bird is tailor made for English conditions. But Siddle is a workhorse and Starc can move the ball both ways... Really tough task for the selectors, so this will come down purely to form in the warm ups.

    In terms of the top order, they'll be using this match to see who handles the conditions best. Cowan will open, but whether he opens with Watson, Hughes or Khawaja is unknown and will likely be based on this match.

  • CSpiers on June 26, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    The people around here... This is a warm up match, it was already noted as to why Rogers isn't playing this one and the bowler heavy team. Good to see Khawaja in there. Wouldn't be surprised if the first test side looks like 1.Rogers 2. Cowan 3. Hughes 4. Clarke 5. Khawaja 6. Watson 7. Haddin 8. Faulkner/Starc 9. Pattinson 10. Siddle 11 Lyon. Bird and Harris may push Pattinson depending on form.

  • D-Train on June 26, 2013, 0:31 GMT

    Australia has a poor batting line-up already. Why would you make it even worse by playing Faulkner at no. 7? He's very handy no. 8, but he's a sub-par no. 7.

    The bowling line up for the first test must be Bird, Pattinson, Harris and Lyon. Siddle is still a good bowler, but at the moment theres 3 blokes who are slightly better than him. Bird should be an automatic selection. Sub 20 average, was brilliant in his first couple of tests and his bowling is ideally suited for English conditions. My team would be

    Rogers, Watson, Clarke, Hughes, Khawaja, Warner, Haddin, Pattinson, Harris, Lyon, Bird.

    Having said that the way our batting is at the moment theres still plenty of chances for Cowan and Smith to bat their way into the team.

  • on June 26, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    Watson, Rogers, Cowan, Clarke, Smith, Warner, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Harris, Lyon is my first test team. Faulkner 12th man, Starc and Bird to come in to rest Harris and Pattinson. We really dropped the ball not picking Voges, North, Bailey and some more seasoned, experienced and level headed players, where is Dave Hussey and Hodge? If we were serious about test cricket NOW and not in 5 years our line up would be Watson, Rogers, Hodge, Voges, Clarke, North, Haddin, now that's a better looking top 7! Where is the experience? Hughes, Khawaja, Smith, are all still so young, when Martyn, Hayden, Langer etc came back into the test team in 1999-2000 they were mature 30 year olds and they dominated!!!! Get it right Australia!

  • on June 25, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    1. Rogers. 2. Watson. 3. Cowan. 4. Clarke. 5. Smith. 6. Haddin. 7. Faulkner. 8. Siddle. 9. Pattinson. 10. Starc. 11. Lyon.

    OK why? Watson does far better as an opener than at 3 or 4. Rogers has so much county cricket under his belt he should transition smoothly. Cowan at 3 -- effectively a #3 should be an opener type anyway as an early wicket means facing the new ball. Clarke no questions. Smith --he's actually done well lately. Haddin no questions. Faulkner -- new all rounder. Bowling attack -- Siddle, huge heart, plays his guts out every time. Pattinson, will cause problems. Need a left quick -- this Mitch won't spray it around like the other one... And Lyon -- don't muck around with spinning experiments right now!

  • wix99 on June 25, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    This is a practice match and players have been selected because they need match practice. The non-selection of Chris Rogers is simply because he has already had plenty of first class cricket in England this summer. The selection of five bowlers is to give them time in the middle and doesn't mean Australia will go into the First Test with five bowlers.

  • Chris_P on June 25, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    Do some of you who post have even the slightest idea about cricket? This game is used to try to sort out positions, options, getting batting time in the middle or any number of reasons, it is not selected to win alone. As explained in the article, Rogers had had a successful time for his county & doesn't need the time in the middle as much as the rest of the crew. they are playing with options to get a better idea of what may work or not for the tests. Please guys, try for once looking at the big picture or learn about the game properly.

  • keithmillersmesserschmitt on June 25, 2013, 22:26 GMT

    @DylanBrah: What are you on? If Faulkner doesn't play as an all-rounder it's news to all of us down here in Tasmania. Here's his figures for his last FC match (the Sheffield Shield final): 46, 3/40, 89, 1/20. They look awfully like the figures of a card carrying all-rounder.

  • on June 25, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    including steven smith in the 11 should be considered. He's one of the better fielders and batsman in this aussie squad... He could even be a handy leg spinner as he usually tempts the batsmen with juicy deliveries which could turn out to be wicket taking one's... He should be considered instead of Lyon whose performance on spinning tracks in India was not as good as expected...

    XI- Cowan, Hughes, Khwaja, Clarke, Haddin, Watson, Smith, Faulkner, Strac, Pattinson, Siddle.

    Michael Clarke can also turn his arm... Should not forget he's the man with the golden arm. The Australians can have a plenty of bowling options with Watson also bowling his medium pacers + they bat deep aswell with Starc, Pattinson and Siddle in at 9,10 and 11 respectively... What Siddle did with the bat against India should be kept in mind.

  • on June 25, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    What happened to Voges? He was easily the best batsman in the Champs Trophy campaign. Do we have that many batsmen piling up runs in international cricket that we can afford to send our runmakers home? How many times to Hughes and Khawaja have to fail?

  • dutchy on June 25, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    Please, please, don't have five batsmen!!! Didn't we learn anything from India? Lehman might be thinking "well Queensland have five batsmen" but Queensland are constantly collapsing.

  • on June 25, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    I still don't understand the tactics of AUS, Roger is in the squad but why not selected for warm up?? Phill Hughes & Khawaja didn't perform well in recent times but included in the squad!! Anyhow its just warm up match!! Watson has to get form before Ashes else One man army Clark can't fight in all 5 tests!!

  • Beertjie on June 25, 2013, 18:12 GMT

    @Matt Merritt on (June 25, 2013, 14:57 GMT) The track at Taunton is usually flat so that may explain 5 bowlers. Leaving out Rogers (nothing to prove), Wade (he got his chance at Bristol) was a no-brainer. Since Bird and Harris got a game in Bristol, giving the others a shot now also makes good sense. At Worcester my XI would be: Hughes, Cowan, Rogers, Clarke, Khawaja, Watson, Haddin, Faulkner/Starc, Harris, Lyon, Bird. This would permit resting of A-tourists like Pattinson and Siddle who would have sufficient pre-Ashes bowling. Agar and Smith are stand-by options and the original squad members sans Warner need to have first choice.

  • ScottStevo on June 25, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    Shock news, obscure line up for warm up game...Is anyone here up to date with the team's objective from this warm game? Doubt it. At any rate, we may be playing this many bowlers so that Boof can assess the bowling pack and lock in his starters before heading down darker roads of assessing his batting line up - who knows.

  • siddhartha87 on June 25, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    I don't think Aussie should drop Warner from first test. He averages nearly 40 in tests> I guess the best solution is make him bat at no 3. Cowan and Rogers should open and they should stick for the 1st hour or two.No 4 and 5 should be Hughes and Clarke. Watson should bat at no 6.He is a high class opener as well as good player of spin. No 6 will be good for him.No 7 should be Haddin.

  • siddhartha87 on June 25, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    damn Aussies will never understand.Why Faulkner at no7? Aussie must play 6 batsmen+haddin as their top 7.It is tempting to include Faulkner in playing XI,but i dont think it will not be a good idea to play him in place of a specialist batsman.Playing XI should be-

    1. Rogers 2. Cowan 3. Warner 4. Hughes 5. Clarke 6. Watson 7. Haddin 8. Siddle 9.Pattinson 10. Lyon/Faulkner 11. Harris

  • on June 25, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    My team would be 1.Cowan 2.Rogers/Hughes 3.Watto 4.Clarke 5.Haddin 6.Warner/Smith 7.Faulkner 8.Siddle 9.Pattinson 10.Harris 11.Lyon

  • PutMarshyOn on June 25, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Faulkner at 6? With a sub-30 FC average? Surely not. @Matt Merritt - Haddin's not as good as Prior I grant you, but he is still a highly accomplished player. Given a decent top 6 there are plenty of other guys opposition bowlers would prefer to see walking out at 5 down. At 60-5 he'll have his work cut out though. I think I'll watch this series with my hands over my eyes.

  • on June 25, 2013, 15:11 GMT

    Although not a betting man, I suspect the only fast bowler who will play in the entire Ashes series will be Peter Siddle - never understood why he seems to be so lowly rated... Were I making selections, Robson (opening with Rogers) and Bailey would be in my test XI ahead of Hughes and Warner, whose lack of technique will soon be found out if not by James Anderson, then by Graeme Swann.

  • DylanBrah on June 25, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Faulkner doesn't even play as an allrounder for Tasmania these days. Would be a disaster if Haddin were to bat at 6 and Faulkner at 7.

  • AKS286 on June 25, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    Fit ?? He was also fit in CT. He knows his team is going to occupy the last position so cleverly he out himself and saves for Ashes. After the extremely POOR permance against Scottish, Irish, Glouc khwaja must be thrown out to the team. Klinger, Hughes, Marsh, Clarke, Smith (C), Haddin/Paine, Watson (VC), Pattinson, Johnson, Siddle, Beer/Boyce/Hauritz.

  • on June 25, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    Seriously, Brad Haddin's verbal incontinence apart, why are they obsessed with playing 5 bowlers? If you've got a strong attack (and they have, if not as strong as Mickey Arthur and some Aussies think), your fifth bowler is going to be massively underused. Surely Watson can do that role? Haddin's barely a test number 7, let alone 6. Maybe the fact they're considering it is evidence that they're not quite as confident about their attack as they'd have us believe.

  • Edwards_Anderson on June 25, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    Predicting big performances from Khawaja, Clarke and Watson in the batting and our bowling is well sorted. @Batmanian Smith is included as a backup for Clarke and is not part of the squad, if Clarke is fit then we don't need him, the big question is who will open, will it be Watson, Cowan or Rogers, all 3 are good openers. I am predicting a lineup of Rogers, Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, KHawaja, Haddin for the first test but alot will depend on who gets runs in these warm up games. One thing is for sure, its great to have boof as the coach as he will pick on performances not favoritism.

  • Batmanian on June 25, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    I would have played both Smith and Khawaja in these two matches and chosen the better. I wonder if they're serious about Faulkner? Good if they are. And please, please indicate Watson is to open. I hope there's still time to drop Cowan.

  • James_Murphy on June 25, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    First test team: Watson Rogers Hughes Khawaja Clarke Warner Haddin Pattinson Siddle Bird Lyon. Lets hope Starc finds some form as well as Watson Hughes and Khawaja. And of course Clarke gets through unscathed :)

  • BradmanBestEver on June 25, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    This should be the team for the first test with the following two changes: out Cowan in Rogers and out Siddle in Bird.

  • BradmanBestEver on June 25, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    This should be the team for the first test with the following two changes: out Cowan in Rogers and out Siddle in Bird.

  • James_Murphy on June 25, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    First test team: Watson Rogers Hughes Khawaja Clarke Warner Haddin Pattinson Siddle Bird Lyon. Lets hope Starc finds some form as well as Watson Hughes and Khawaja. And of course Clarke gets through unscathed :)

  • Batmanian on June 25, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    I would have played both Smith and Khawaja in these two matches and chosen the better. I wonder if they're serious about Faulkner? Good if they are. And please, please indicate Watson is to open. I hope there's still time to drop Cowan.

  • Edwards_Anderson on June 25, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    Predicting big performances from Khawaja, Clarke and Watson in the batting and our bowling is well sorted. @Batmanian Smith is included as a backup for Clarke and is not part of the squad, if Clarke is fit then we don't need him, the big question is who will open, will it be Watson, Cowan or Rogers, all 3 are good openers. I am predicting a lineup of Rogers, Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, KHawaja, Haddin for the first test but alot will depend on who gets runs in these warm up games. One thing is for sure, its great to have boof as the coach as he will pick on performances not favoritism.

  • on June 25, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    Seriously, Brad Haddin's verbal incontinence apart, why are they obsessed with playing 5 bowlers? If you've got a strong attack (and they have, if not as strong as Mickey Arthur and some Aussies think), your fifth bowler is going to be massively underused. Surely Watson can do that role? Haddin's barely a test number 7, let alone 6. Maybe the fact they're considering it is evidence that they're not quite as confident about their attack as they'd have us believe.

  • AKS286 on June 25, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    Fit ?? He was also fit in CT. He knows his team is going to occupy the last position so cleverly he out himself and saves for Ashes. After the extremely POOR permance against Scottish, Irish, Glouc khwaja must be thrown out to the team. Klinger, Hughes, Marsh, Clarke, Smith (C), Haddin/Paine, Watson (VC), Pattinson, Johnson, Siddle, Beer/Boyce/Hauritz.

  • DylanBrah on June 25, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Faulkner doesn't even play as an allrounder for Tasmania these days. Would be a disaster if Haddin were to bat at 6 and Faulkner at 7.

  • on June 25, 2013, 15:11 GMT

    Although not a betting man, I suspect the only fast bowler who will play in the entire Ashes series will be Peter Siddle - never understood why he seems to be so lowly rated... Were I making selections, Robson (opening with Rogers) and Bailey would be in my test XI ahead of Hughes and Warner, whose lack of technique will soon be found out if not by James Anderson, then by Graeme Swann.

  • PutMarshyOn on June 25, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Faulkner at 6? With a sub-30 FC average? Surely not. @Matt Merritt - Haddin's not as good as Prior I grant you, but he is still a highly accomplished player. Given a decent top 6 there are plenty of other guys opposition bowlers would prefer to see walking out at 5 down. At 60-5 he'll have his work cut out though. I think I'll watch this series with my hands over my eyes.

  • on June 25, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    My team would be 1.Cowan 2.Rogers/Hughes 3.Watto 4.Clarke 5.Haddin 6.Warner/Smith 7.Faulkner 8.Siddle 9.Pattinson 10.Harris 11.Lyon