The Investec Ashes 2013 July 1, 2013

Rogers to open with Watson

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Chris Rogers has been confirmed as Shane Watson's opening partner for Australia in the first Investec Test against England at Trent Bridge. The Australia coach, Darren Lehmann, said Rogers had been inked in to partner Watson on the eve of the tourists' final Ashes warm-up match against Worcestershire at New Road.

"Watson and Rogers will open the batting for Australia, I'm comfortable with that, they'll play the first Test," Lehmann said. "All the rest are in the frame, but Rogers has obviously been picked for a reason by the previous selection panel and we're really comfortable with that, he's had a great summer here with Middlesex, made two big hundreds and been in good form."

Rogers was understandably delighted to know he is guaranteed to add to his one Test match, against India in Perth in January 2008.

"I'm naturally excited. It's a huge thrill," Rogers said. "Anyone who has been selected doesn't want to be a one-Test wonder. I had probably given up hope at times but I guess with the new selection committee and retirements of Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey it gave me a bit of hope that they would pick an older head.

"I can just enjoy it and really see that there is nothing to lose. I didn't expect this opportunity and hopefully I can play well. If that happens hopefully we can win a few games as well."

The decision means Ed Cowan and David Warner have been deposed as Australia's opening combination after a moderately successful union over the previous 18 months. Both must now will vie for the remaining places in Australia's first Test batting line-up, Cowan potentially at No. 3 and Warner further down.

Ryan Harris and Jackson Bird have slim chances of squeezing into the bowling quartet for Trent Bridge, but the resting of James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle and the spinner Nathan Lyon for the tour match in Worcester is the strongest indication yet that they will be the frontline attack for Australia.

The captain, Michael Clarke, is playing in further pursuit of time in the middle following his early tour back complaint, while Watson is marked down to bowl against Worcestershire after being kept away from allrounder duties against Somerset.

Apart from anointing Rogers, Lehmann said that he was considering a five-man bowling attack for Trent Bridge, which would likely have Brad Haddin and the uncapped James Faulkner batting at Nos. 6 and 7.

Lehmann also indicated that Steve Smith and Ashton Agar, initially called into the Ashes squad as temporary tourists after the Australia A tour, would be staying on for the entire tour, bringing the party's number to 18. Both will play against Worcestershire. "I think they'll be here for most of it," Lehmann said. "We haven't finalised that but they'll be in the squad for the tour and they're a chance to play in the first Test like everyone else."

Australian XI to play Worcestershire: Michael Clarke (capt), Shane Watson, Ed Cowan, Chris Rogers, Phillip Hughes, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin (wk), James Faulkner, Ryan Harris, Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Nathan Lyon (12th man).

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

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  • H_Z_O on July 4, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    @Meety @ScottStevo let me add that as an England fan I hope Starc doesn't play, because I think he and Pattinson, ducking it in and out, could be deadly. Frightening to think you still have young Cummins coming through. Manage them well and they could be dominant. Now you just need some batsmen ;).

    @ScottStevo long-term I think you're right, Hughes will probably bat 3, maybe even in the return series, but right now I think what you need to guard against is the risk of a collapse. There's still not a lot of confidence in that batting unit and staying solid for a few innings will be a massive boost. Right now, and I'm not saying this to be all Front-Foot Lunge, but England will feel they can get at the Aussie batting. Deny them that a few times, and they'll be the ones under pressure.

    Your bowlers would also benefit. If they have confidence in the batsmen, they know they can risk conceding runs in pursuit of wickets. I may be wrong, I just want to see your bowlers be given a chance.

  • ScottStevo on July 4, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    @HZO, personally, I think Hughes is a number 3 bat. He may have a little flash, but that's something he needs to remove from his game no matter where he bats. He's certainly more agressive than Cowan and Khawaja, but I think we like a good stroke maker at 3 rather than a Trott style player. Then we sure up the middle order with solidity from Clarke and Khawaja. For all Watson's bravado during warm up matches, his SR in tests isn't as high as one would expect and Rogers' SR you'd envisage will be closer to 50, so Hughes @ 3 mightn't be all that bad. Khawaja is still inexperienced at test level and I think batting at 5 should give him an opportunity to solidify a regular starting position in the XI, from there we can move him up the order if he proves himself worthy. In fact, he may jump to open with Watson if Rogers doesn't cut it or retires!

  • ScottStevo on July 4, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    @Meety, completely agree!!!! It's pretty easy to look at Starc and see that he's got everything going for him to be a magnificent test bowler and he's still quite young, yet we have so many stating FC avgs and all manner of junk to discredit him. He and Pattinson opening the bowling will be devastating in a few years time. Both tall, strong, fast and move the ball late.They're wicket takers and that's what's needed in test matches. I'm not overly concerned with economy, unless it's 6rpo every test! -and I'd still take that if they were picking up 4 top order bats from 7-10 overs! That's why we have Bird/Siddle/Harris - to keep it tight and force errors through containment. It's a good balance. As you say, if Watto can get through a few overs, then we don't need a 5th specialist bowler. We do, however, require a decent spinner. I like the looks of Agar, but I think it best he's part of the squad this time around as a learning experience whilst he keeps Lyon honest with domestic returns.

  • Meety on July 4, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    @H_Z_O on (July 3, 2013, 12:48 GMT) - I am a massive fan of the potential within Starc, I would not leave Starc out for Faulkner. I thought Oz got things really wrong when we had Starc. MJ & Faulkner in the same side v England in the Champ Trophy - too much southpaw. I have a bit of a question mark over Faulkner's FC stats, as just about any Tassie Shield pacer of the last 4 years have had great averages. That said, I think he has looked good in ODIs, & would really bustle along all day. The only question I have is - the amount of bowling skill to be a Test specialist bowler. With Watto fully fit (?) - we can get 5 to 10 overs a day out of him - Faulkner is excess!

  • H_Z_O on July 3, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    @ScottStevo Hughes at 3 with Watson opening means two of the top three who like to have a flash at the odd wide one. In swinging conditions that's dicey. As for Warner at 6, that certainly looks possible and it's probably a better position for him right now. Number 3 has to be Cowan or Khawaja. Cowan's experience (at Trent Bridge too) or Khawaja's potential? Tough call.

    @Meety Faulkner looks a decent batsman from the little I've seen of him but not at 7 unless, as you say, chasing the series. The average of 40 is a bit misleading; four not outs in 7 innings, 112 runs, 54 of them in an ODI when Australia were 6 down still needing 134 runs at 10 an over. I was impressed by the knock (very mature) but it was hardly the most competitive circumstances (the match was as good as over).

    His bowling looks handy, though; swings it and has a good change of pace, so he might warrant selection on his bowling alone (batting at 8). If so, do you leave Starc out, or take your chances with the rough?

  • Meety on July 3, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    @Moppa on (July 2, 2013, 7:03 GMT) - I know Rogers had a couple of injuries a few years back, so I think that might of been how Hughes snuck back ahead of him in 10/11, NOTHING can explain Quinney, (other than wanting Hughes, but protecting him from Steyn?).

    @SirViv1973/H_Z_O - Faulkner is not really a known quantity (Internationally) in that his experience is largely been in Oz. Some people would say he IS in the top 4 Ozzy bowlers due to FC S/R & average. He is averaging nearly 40 across 2 formats since landing in the Old Dart. He is very competitive, but I would NOT play him in the top 7, unless we are one down with two to go.

  • Shaggy076 on July 3, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    I think those who have followed Australian cricket recently would realise Steve Smith is much an allrounder as David Warner. Having said that I would have him in the side as a #6 batsman - he seems to have worked out his game thoroughly and knows what shots he can and cant play. He has also learned concentration and the value of his wicket. There is a long way to go and he will never reach the bracket of Steve Waugh, but he was a man with a technique that wasn't classical but came to know his own game. He had problems at the start of his career until he realised this. I suggest Steve Smith has followed this form line and should definitely start in the first test.

  • ScottStevo on July 2, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    @HZO, He's certainly in contention. He'll have to make some decent runs in this match though. Being a late call up, you'd have to expect that he's considered last cab off the rank, but you never know. I tend to agree with you, but with Lehman wiping he slate clean for Warner, it's got me thinking he's going to start...but at 6. Seeing that we know the openers, that means 3 and 4/5 (depending where Clarke bats) are the two spots left. I'd personally stick with Hughes at 3. For some reason I've got a good feeling this series could be a good one for Hughes, but think he may bat 5 with Clarke at 4. Which only leaves the number 3 spot. In which case, I'd suggest Smith is out of contention and it's a straight shoot out between Khawaja and Cowan. Tough choice. If it was 5, I'd have Khawaja, and swap with Hughes, but if Hughes is at 5, this time around I'd play Cowan.

  • H_Z_O on July 2, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    @ScottStevo heh, yeah, I thought the same about Smith being a leggie, blonde and chubby. Reminds me of someone but for the life of me I can't think who...

    Repressed memory perhaps ;)

    Not saying he's a definite starter but he's in contention. It's Khawaja, Cowan and Smith for two positions (unless Warner walks straight back into the side without any match practice). I'd pick Khawaja and Smith myself but that's just me.

  • ScottStevo on July 2, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    @HZO, Agreed re Faulkner. Uncertain of Smith though. That same tag pushed his career along earlier, more to the point was the fact he was a spinner (having blonde locks and being a leggie probably didn't hurt either!) Once we'd come to the realisation that his bowling wasn't up to standard, he had to go away and reinvent himself as a specialist batsmen, who could potentially roll the arm over. He hasn't done a bad job of late, though I fear his technique is a little suspect against good pace bowling - which clearly he's obviously working hard on. V good vs spin and possibly the best fielder going - he's a freak. He's a young enough bloke to sort it out and will def be in our XI soon enough. Still think we could use one or two guys who look a little more solid right now though to form a backbone so that players like Smith can thrive around them...

  • H_Z_O on July 4, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    @Meety @ScottStevo let me add that as an England fan I hope Starc doesn't play, because I think he and Pattinson, ducking it in and out, could be deadly. Frightening to think you still have young Cummins coming through. Manage them well and they could be dominant. Now you just need some batsmen ;).

    @ScottStevo long-term I think you're right, Hughes will probably bat 3, maybe even in the return series, but right now I think what you need to guard against is the risk of a collapse. There's still not a lot of confidence in that batting unit and staying solid for a few innings will be a massive boost. Right now, and I'm not saying this to be all Front-Foot Lunge, but England will feel they can get at the Aussie batting. Deny them that a few times, and they'll be the ones under pressure.

    Your bowlers would also benefit. If they have confidence in the batsmen, they know they can risk conceding runs in pursuit of wickets. I may be wrong, I just want to see your bowlers be given a chance.

  • ScottStevo on July 4, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    @HZO, personally, I think Hughes is a number 3 bat. He may have a little flash, but that's something he needs to remove from his game no matter where he bats. He's certainly more agressive than Cowan and Khawaja, but I think we like a good stroke maker at 3 rather than a Trott style player. Then we sure up the middle order with solidity from Clarke and Khawaja. For all Watson's bravado during warm up matches, his SR in tests isn't as high as one would expect and Rogers' SR you'd envisage will be closer to 50, so Hughes @ 3 mightn't be all that bad. Khawaja is still inexperienced at test level and I think batting at 5 should give him an opportunity to solidify a regular starting position in the XI, from there we can move him up the order if he proves himself worthy. In fact, he may jump to open with Watson if Rogers doesn't cut it or retires!

  • ScottStevo on July 4, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    @Meety, completely agree!!!! It's pretty easy to look at Starc and see that he's got everything going for him to be a magnificent test bowler and he's still quite young, yet we have so many stating FC avgs and all manner of junk to discredit him. He and Pattinson opening the bowling will be devastating in a few years time. Both tall, strong, fast and move the ball late.They're wicket takers and that's what's needed in test matches. I'm not overly concerned with economy, unless it's 6rpo every test! -and I'd still take that if they were picking up 4 top order bats from 7-10 overs! That's why we have Bird/Siddle/Harris - to keep it tight and force errors through containment. It's a good balance. As you say, if Watto can get through a few overs, then we don't need a 5th specialist bowler. We do, however, require a decent spinner. I like the looks of Agar, but I think it best he's part of the squad this time around as a learning experience whilst he keeps Lyon honest with domestic returns.

  • Meety on July 4, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    @H_Z_O on (July 3, 2013, 12:48 GMT) - I am a massive fan of the potential within Starc, I would not leave Starc out for Faulkner. I thought Oz got things really wrong when we had Starc. MJ & Faulkner in the same side v England in the Champ Trophy - too much southpaw. I have a bit of a question mark over Faulkner's FC stats, as just about any Tassie Shield pacer of the last 4 years have had great averages. That said, I think he has looked good in ODIs, & would really bustle along all day. The only question I have is - the amount of bowling skill to be a Test specialist bowler. With Watto fully fit (?) - we can get 5 to 10 overs a day out of him - Faulkner is excess!

  • H_Z_O on July 3, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    @ScottStevo Hughes at 3 with Watson opening means two of the top three who like to have a flash at the odd wide one. In swinging conditions that's dicey. As for Warner at 6, that certainly looks possible and it's probably a better position for him right now. Number 3 has to be Cowan or Khawaja. Cowan's experience (at Trent Bridge too) or Khawaja's potential? Tough call.

    @Meety Faulkner looks a decent batsman from the little I've seen of him but not at 7 unless, as you say, chasing the series. The average of 40 is a bit misleading; four not outs in 7 innings, 112 runs, 54 of them in an ODI when Australia were 6 down still needing 134 runs at 10 an over. I was impressed by the knock (very mature) but it was hardly the most competitive circumstances (the match was as good as over).

    His bowling looks handy, though; swings it and has a good change of pace, so he might warrant selection on his bowling alone (batting at 8). If so, do you leave Starc out, or take your chances with the rough?

  • Meety on July 3, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    @Moppa on (July 2, 2013, 7:03 GMT) - I know Rogers had a couple of injuries a few years back, so I think that might of been how Hughes snuck back ahead of him in 10/11, NOTHING can explain Quinney, (other than wanting Hughes, but protecting him from Steyn?).

    @SirViv1973/H_Z_O - Faulkner is not really a known quantity (Internationally) in that his experience is largely been in Oz. Some people would say he IS in the top 4 Ozzy bowlers due to FC S/R & average. He is averaging nearly 40 across 2 formats since landing in the Old Dart. He is very competitive, but I would NOT play him in the top 7, unless we are one down with two to go.

  • Shaggy076 on July 3, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    I think those who have followed Australian cricket recently would realise Steve Smith is much an allrounder as David Warner. Having said that I would have him in the side as a #6 batsman - he seems to have worked out his game thoroughly and knows what shots he can and cant play. He has also learned concentration and the value of his wicket. There is a long way to go and he will never reach the bracket of Steve Waugh, but he was a man with a technique that wasn't classical but came to know his own game. He had problems at the start of his career until he realised this. I suggest Steve Smith has followed this form line and should definitely start in the first test.

  • ScottStevo on July 2, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    @HZO, He's certainly in contention. He'll have to make some decent runs in this match though. Being a late call up, you'd have to expect that he's considered last cab off the rank, but you never know. I tend to agree with you, but with Lehman wiping he slate clean for Warner, it's got me thinking he's going to start...but at 6. Seeing that we know the openers, that means 3 and 4/5 (depending where Clarke bats) are the two spots left. I'd personally stick with Hughes at 3. For some reason I've got a good feeling this series could be a good one for Hughes, but think he may bat 5 with Clarke at 4. Which only leaves the number 3 spot. In which case, I'd suggest Smith is out of contention and it's a straight shoot out between Khawaja and Cowan. Tough choice. If it was 5, I'd have Khawaja, and swap with Hughes, but if Hughes is at 5, this time around I'd play Cowan.

  • H_Z_O on July 2, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    @ScottStevo heh, yeah, I thought the same about Smith being a leggie, blonde and chubby. Reminds me of someone but for the life of me I can't think who...

    Repressed memory perhaps ;)

    Not saying he's a definite starter but he's in contention. It's Khawaja, Cowan and Smith for two positions (unless Warner walks straight back into the side without any match practice). I'd pick Khawaja and Smith myself but that's just me.

  • ScottStevo on July 2, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    @HZO, Agreed re Faulkner. Uncertain of Smith though. That same tag pushed his career along earlier, more to the point was the fact he was a spinner (having blonde locks and being a leggie probably didn't hurt either!) Once we'd come to the realisation that his bowling wasn't up to standard, he had to go away and reinvent himself as a specialist batsmen, who could potentially roll the arm over. He hasn't done a bad job of late, though I fear his technique is a little suspect against good pace bowling - which clearly he's obviously working hard on. V good vs spin and possibly the best fielder going - he's a freak. He's a young enough bloke to sort it out and will def be in our XI soon enough. Still think we could use one or two guys who look a little more solid right now though to form a backbone so that players like Smith can thrive around them...

  • H_Z_O on July 2, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    @SirViv1973 yeah, I think Smith warrants selection on his batting alone. I think the all-rounder tag did him more harm than good. He's got a solid enough record, has a Test 50 against England (at the SCG) and in England (against Pakistan). Two good knocks in India too. Seems a good choice for 6 to blunt Graeme Swann. If Clarke is at 5 (I don't see why you'd move your best batman out of the position he does well in) and Haddin at 7 that's probably three of the better players of spin in a row.

    Haddin at 6 with Faulkner at 7 has shades of Prior at 6 at Headingley in 2009.

  • SirViv1973 on July 2, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    @H_Z_O, Well said I think we are the same wave length re Faulkner. I haven't seen an awful lot of him, but what does appear evident is that he is not in Aus top 4 bowlers & he is not in their top 6 batsman. In terms of test cricket at least, at this stage of his career he looks very much a bits n pieces player. Aus have already been down that route with the selection Maxwell & Henriques in Ind which didn't work, hence neither of them we're selected for this squad. Smith used to fall in to the same category but it appears his batting has significantly improved & he may well now warrnat a place in the team as one the best 6 batsman, anything he can offer in the field or with the bowl would then be a bonus.

  • H_Z_O on July 2, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    @chicko1983 Faulkner playing weakens a batting order where only one of the top 7 has a Test average over 40. His First Class record doesn't suggest he's a better batsman than the other options. If the batsmen give the bowlers enough runs to work with, they won't need him to bowl. And if the batsmen don't get the runs, is his bowling incisive enough to make up for it? What does he bring to the bowling that the others don't? At least with Smith even if he doesn't bat well his fielding could save you runs and his leg spin gives you a different option.

    There's also the issue of two left armers. While England's batsmen have had their issues against them, more rough for Swann to work with against the right handed batsmen means he becomes a threat against both right and left handed batsmen. In fact, if Starc plays, having someone like Smith (who plays spin well) may be a distinct advantage.

    You might be right, but if so, I think it's a poor decision. Time will tell, I guess.

  • SirViv1973 on July 2, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    Some talk of Faulkner playing at 7 with Haddin going up to 6. With Watson opening & able to ball (most agree if he can't ball he shouldn't be in the team) Aus already have 5 bowlers so why pick a 6th in Faulker. With Smith seen more as a batsman than an all rounder these days wouldn't he be a better option at 6? Aus should also beware of playing 2 left arm seamers Swann will love the ruff they will create & make him just as dangerous against the right handers as the lefties.

  • Naresh28 on July 2, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    Oz build up has been quite good. Lehmann has done some good. Watson and Rodgers showing the way. This is good as they are the openers.

  • ScottStevo on July 2, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    @zenboomerang, I said they were roughly the same age 35 and 38 ain't much different, so get off your high horse about fact. The fact is, they're both the wrong side of 30 and one of them outscored the other in sheild cricket (by some margin) and has piled on TEST runs and the other has played ONE test match. Although I agree, there are other ways he can offer his "experience", however, that's certainly not where test cricket is concerned as he's only ever experienced it on the ONE occasion. So, after one test match, is he a rookie, or is he experienced? Think about what you're saying people. And the amount of FC games and runs count for exactly nothing. Also, I said nothing about the wicketkeeper - not sure what you're talking about there, to be honest.

  • jonesy2 on July 2, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    ive got a feeling wattos going to have a dominant series and destroy the poms like Clarke did the south Africans

  • chicko1983 on July 2, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    Been saying it since Taunton, the first xi has been picked and is: Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Cowan, Faulkner, had din, starc, saddle, pattinson and Lyon. Warner is unelectable, smith and kawaja haven't done enough for a first test call up but may play last couple tests. Faulkner playing gives huge balance for bowling and don't have to bowl Watson.

  • whofriggincares on July 2, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    @RandyOz , mate who really gives a stuff what you are sick and tired of? Have you played cricket? Doubt it. The reason Siddle keeps getting picked is because every attack needs a bowler like him , simple. Why do you think Clarke rates him so highly , why do you think boof rates him so highly? Why do you think he was voted Australias best bowler last year by his fellow first class cricketers ( people who know what they are talking about not keyboard heroes.) He has and will continue to bowl his guts out for his captain ,teammates and country. He is the sort of whole hearted bowler that captains love and oppositions fear. Interesting to read Pattinson talk of how Siddle manages his body in training and lead up games so he can give 100% when it counts in Test matches. You should pull your head in mate some of your comments are just embarrassing.

  • PrasPunter on July 2, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    @RolliNThundeR , back then, our team was packed with Legends that even someone as good as Lehmann found it hard to make it to the team. He eventually debuted in 1998 and didn't do that well. A certain Ricky Ponting was blazing around and given his age , Australian selectors looked at him as a long-term captaincy option after Waugh retired.

  • on July 2, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    @Landl47, well summed up mate. Faulkner @ 7 as you point out is looming as a possibility over a batsman that isn't performing. Not sure its the best way to go but Faulkner is going to have to play very well to do it. I think the door is also ajar for both Harris and Bird, if one of them has a real stand out performance here and take a ten for or something they may well edge Siddle out, despite not having had much cricket of late.

    Still so much up in the air, its funny that we are all seeing it as making the players hungry to perform in this moment, whereas in the lead up to the first test in the last ashes series we were all in shock at the uncertainty and the players were complaining about not knowing their roles. This was something addressed in the Argus review but it has done nothing to change what happens in Aus cricket and while it may read well on paper, it certainly has not played out well in reality. I think for that we have needed a guy like Lehmann.

  • RolliNThundeR on July 2, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Definitely a great move, rogers will give that slice of maturity to the batting line up that australia needs. And Lehman, his coaching ways are more australian than even shane keith warne's and will definitely be benefiting team aus more than how andy flower's little too disciplinary methods have been doing it for the english. As an Indian supporter i would have liked a thrashing of the australians, but not with this team. They seemed to have geared up for the occasion under DL. Hoping for a great cricketing season!!!

    Between, back in his cricketing days why wasnt Lehman given more opportunities in the tests and why wasnt he offered the captaincy after steve waugh?

  • SirViv1973 on July 2, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @Scottstevo, For Aus it is not an ideal situation having to call up a 35 yr old rookie but he know's Eng conditions, scored heavily in the shield last year & quite frankly Aus just don't have any better options at present.

  • _Australian_ on July 2, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    Posted by hhillbumper on (July 1, 2013, 17:24 GMT). Who exactly has been saying Australia are currently the best team ever and have the greatest bowlers "all the time"? Name, names or even better, point me to the articles that proves it. I think perhaps you have let your imagination run a little. You wouldn't be the first English supporter to do so. I am just waiting for FFL to start telling us Swann is a better spinner than Warne ever was.

  • cristiaan99999 on July 2, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    @Moppa i do agree with why hughes was selected in 10/11 ive spoken to ppl and we are flummuxed with why in 09 they dropped a man in the form of his life, just peeling runs off a good south african attack, dropping him after 1 ashes test, and then a year later put him in the team when he was horribly out of form. i love phillip think he will be world class soon, everyone struggles at the beginning, you can just list them, waugh, hayden, clarke, martyn, all had rough patches were dropped and recalled at the right time and became great batsmen, my first test line up:

    1. Watson 2. Rogers 3. Hughes 4. Clarke 5. Smith 6. Haddin 7. Faulkner 8. Starc 9. Pattinson 10. Bird 11. Agar

    Lyon is useless, agar been very impressive, i rate smith as a better all round cricketer then khawaja, he offers a lot more, aggressive batting, bowling ability and probably one of the best fielders around, Watson wont be able to bowl much faulkner decent bat good bowler, bird will be good in england

  • landl47 on July 2, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Great comment, Chris_P. I think Lehmann will be relying heavily on Haddin through this series.

    Having announced that Watson and Rogers will open (and obviously Clarke is in) there are 3 places left for batsmen/allrounders. Those in contention for those 3 spots are Cowan, Hughes, Smith and Faulkner playing in this game, Warner who is suspended for this game and Khawaja. The decision about Khawaja has clearly already been made and since he is by no means an automatic choice that probably means he is out.

    Of the others, if Cowan and Hughes have good outings, they are likely in, and Lehmann will be checking out Smith for the third spot. Faulkner would have to play well with both bat and ball to get a look in.

    If anyone fails and doesn't look ready, Lehmann might well pick Warner. What he's said so far definitely raises that prospect. However, I suspect he'll go with Cowan, Hughes and Smith, with Sids, Patto, Starc and Lyon the bowlers.

  • Moppa on July 2, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    @sachin_vvsfan, Jaques played mainly in 2007 and 2008 after Langer retired. However, in mid-2008, I think on the West Indies tour, he picked up a bad back injury and was severely restricted for a long time. In the meantime, Katich entrenched himself as an opener (people forget he'd never opened until then) and so Katich + Hayden was the incumbent combination. By the time Hayden retired in early 2009 Jaques was in a form slump and Phil Hughes was peeling of centuries left right and centre - so they went for the younger man. Jaques was definitely unlucky with his injury, but there's no great mystery to the story. The greater mystery is probably how Hughes (in 2010/11 Ashes) and Quiney got selected ahead of Rogers in the intervening period. In 2010/11 Hughes was really struggling and Rogers' experience would have been valuable.

  • sachin_vvsfan on July 2, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    @Meety Langer retired much earlier (after 2006 Ashes?) and Rogers came in as replacement for Hayden who had his toe fractured in that infamous sydney test. I think i have better memory than yours regarding Aus players :P

    But i have always wondered why that other Jacques did not play enough matches. Also those who are suggesting cowan at 6 should remember that he wont get enough support from the lower order. He is a sort of the player who likes to grid the opposition (although not as good as cook) and should play in top 3 IMO. So either play him in top 3 or dont play him at all. A bit harsh on him . But i think he was the only player who looked determined to grind the Indian spinners. I would always rate this guy a head of a hit/miss warner or watson who does not know how to last for 2 sessions.

  • zenboomerang on July 2, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    @Jono Makim - "If Hussey was still available" - yes, he has been by far the better Test batsman over the last 3 years in comparison to Ponting... In that period Ricky only had that 1 good series against India, with probably their weakest attack in Oz that I can remember over the last 50 years...

  • zenboomerang on July 2, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    @ScottStevo - Ponting was 38y.o. (not 35) when he retired from Tests, so do try & state facts not exaggerations. You said that Bob Hollands career was cruelled by wicketkeepers yet he was 38y.o. when he debuted for Oz - was he going to play for another 10 years?

    So in the end, age isn't as important as picking a player that is in form + his level of experience, both as an individual & his support of team mates. Rogers has large amounts of experience helping younger players both for Victoria & Middlesex. Ponting wasn't an opener & has retired, so get over it - unless you are talking about openers your point is redundant.

  • Flemo_Gilly on July 2, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    I think Siddle's spot is under threat though i am a big fan of his, lion heart bowler. Starc, Pattinson and Harris are tough to omit from a side and you also have Bird in the wings, we are spoilt for bowlers. For the warm up i would go with Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Smith, Haddin, Siddle, Starc, Harris and Bird with Pattinson and Lyon already locked in the bowling attack for the first test. For the batting i like the new opening pair, big fan of Khawaja at 3 and i think he can make that position his own and i would move Clarke to 4 with Hughes at 5 and Smith/Warner and Cowan to fight out for 6. I am leaning towards Warner.

  • Meety on July 2, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    @Buggsy on (July 2, 2013, 2:42 GMT) - actually Rogers wasn't even really dropped. He was only a fill in for either Hayden/Langar or Jacques - can't remember which (actually checked & it was Hayden). All of which were more credentialled at the time. What was cruel (for him), was seeing other players jump ahead of him since - Marsh & Quinney in particular come to mind. I think Cowan got the jump on Rogers when Rogers was injured 2 years back.

  • on July 2, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    Even thought it's impossible, I'd have Brad Hodge somewhere in the middle order, preferably 4.

  • BradmanBestEver on July 2, 2013, 3:47 GMT

    The weak link is Lyon. No good playing a 5th bowler when the batting is the problem. Play your best 6 batsmen, Haddin and 4 bowlers. Watto can have a trundle in any case.

  • on July 2, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    1. Rogers 2. Watson 3. Cowan/Khawaja 4. Hughes 5. Clarke 6. Smith/Warner 7. Haddin 8. Agar 9. Pattinson 10. Harris 11. Bird

    I really Hope this is First test playing XI. Swapping clarke-hughes in the batting order is good idea too if necessary. If Smith smashes it this game he should get nod ahead of Warner. Khawaja at 3 depending on Cowan's performance at 3 this practice game. Seems Cowan is like a "Dravid" type wall for 3? I prefer Bird than Siddle, I prefer Agar over Lyon. I also prefer Harris over Starc, Starc I feel is liability - his great batting aside, he seems inconsistent, and that I feel is more mental, I'd prefer MJ or Sayers or something like that than him, and Harris is just such a strong bowler. If the wicket looks totally to be dominated by Seamers, I would swap Agar with Faulkner(or MJ, or even Starc). I don't like lineups with "siddle starc and lyon" - this lineup doesn't feel strong, only Pattinson in that usual lineup redeems it. Lets hope Harris keeps fit.

  • Buggsy on July 2, 2013, 2:42 GMT

    @64blip, bit unfair on Rogers there - his first class average is excellent. Sure he failed in that one and only Test, but many debutants do. Had he been given a few more chances like he deserved, I really feel he would have gone on to become a key figure for Australia. Dropping a player after one Test is just cruel.

  • bobagorof on July 2, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    @Anand Kannan: You mention Wade and then fail to include him on your numbered list. Surely you're not suggesting Wade open when there are 5 specialist openers already in the squad? Why not pick a specialist to do the job, rather than shoehorning him into the role? What happens if he fails? You also mention Cowan and Rogers at #3 and #5 but you've listed Warner and Khawaja/Hughes in those positions...?

  • bobagorof on July 2, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    @ScottStevo: A couple of points - Rogers is a couple of years younger than Ponting. Sure, he's not a long-term replacement but Ponting was 38 when he retired, Rogers is 35. Ponting also was averaging 37.76 in his last 4 years. Second, Rogers' recent form warrants selection. He was one of the best performers with the bat in Australia's domestic season and has shown good form for Middlesex. Third, he's played 239 First-Class games. You're saying he's a rookie? Fourth, if you don't think warm-up games should be used for selection then what would you use instead? Randomly pick names out of a hat regardless of form? I suppose that's why Warner has such support, despite scores of 0,0,9 on tour. I agree that Lehmann may like to have a few different players in the squad, and in future he might push for them, but this is the squad he has now and has to work with. Of all the batsmen on tour besides Clarke, Rogers has the most compelling case for selection.

  • hycIass on July 2, 2013, 1:24 GMT

    But I think with the top 6 taking shape with Rogers to open with Watson and more than likely Clarke at 4 it leave Khawaja at 3 and that excites me as he would be fantastic in this role. Of the candidates I would preferably have Clarke at 4, and Hughes at 5. Hughes will have to perform because he has been caught out too many times against swing bowling and spin.Smith deserves a chance because of the grit and improvement he showed in India and good luck to the young kid.Not sure what to make of Siddle resting.

  • Meety on July 2, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    @ScottStevo on (July 1, 2013, 20:52 GMT) RP is too old because he is RETIRED, ditto Hussey, Rogers is NOT retired, therefor he is young enuff!

  • Sunil_Batra on July 2, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    Mary lke you I think its a good move to have Rogers and Watson open with Khawaja at 3, Clarke at 4 and Hughes at 5. In one way, you'd think with PSiddy struggling they'd give him another bowl. However, Harris and Bird had to bowl, and in the end they've rested all 3 of Starc, Patto and SIds. Batting wise, Smith could certainly force his way in with a good knock. If Ed fails, I think Smith could bat at 6. Warner is also only a chance for no.6.So I think the batting order is looking like this

    1. Rogers locked in 2. Watson locked in 3. Khawaja locked in 4. Clarke locked in 5. Hughes locked in 6. Smith or Cowan or Warner for a middle order stabiliser role 7. Haddin

  • Chris_P on July 2, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    @64blip, When someone consistently averages over 50 for so many seasons, he should always be considered, no matter what age. BTW, Haddin didn't get dropped, he pulled out of the Windies tour to return home to care for his 4yo daughter who had cancer. I would suggest the heavy responsibility of going through this experience would take the edge of anything else in life. Wade replaced him, scored a lot of runs but was found out with his glovework. @ScottSteve. Ricky had clearly lost his hunger after nearly 18 years of test cricket, whereas Rogers, to be blunt, has been stiffed as he had been far more deserving of a call up than a myriad of others. Hussey, if available would also have been selected. Yes, if there is a much younger batsman deserving of a spot, for sure I would go with him, but facts are facts. Rogers is so far ahead of the next option it isn't funny. It is a short term fix & we're all hoping someone puts up their hand & steps up to replace him.

  • Greatest_Game on July 1, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    @ ScottStevo wrote "Rogers ... in no way should be in the team. If Ponting apparently was too old at 35, why is that this bloke is perceived as our saviour?"

    Ponting retired from playing at 38 because he could no longer compete. Kallis, almost 38, averaged 62.56 over the last 3 years. Some can play on much longer than others - that is fate's twist. Performance, not age, is the issue.

    Denied an international career by apartheid, in his late 20's Basil D'Oliveira moved to England to play county. He made his test DEBUT at 35. (He later said that to better his chances he lied about his age, & was 37.) An all-rounder, he played tests for 6 years, making important contributions to England's team! When he finally took the field in a test, after years of denial & then years of re-paying his dues, you can bet his experience & motivation meant much more than a yard or 2 lost to a younger player.

    Experience & motivation are in short supply in the Aus team. Rogers seems to have both! We'll see

  • MinusZero on July 1, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    Rogers is almost at retirement age already, what happens when he retires? I am not convinced that Watson will do any good. He is likely to get injured again. If he fails with the bat, this should be his last test series. No other player has had so many chances. He is a short form player, period.

  • Moppa on July 1, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    Tough one. I definitely prefer Watson, Cowan, Rogers as my top 3. Cowan just doesn't have either the shots or the big innings pedigree to bat 3. I see his only feasible role as seeing the shine off the new ball. Australia's recent problems have primarily been at 3 and 4, and Rogers would give solidity at three, as well as the potential to make big scores - something Cowan has consistently failed to achieve, even in county cricket. I also agree with those pointing out Khawaja's recent inconsistency, and had been coming around to the view that Hughes would be best at 4 - so now the line up is quite uncertain. As for the bowlers, I don't think Pattinson, Siddle and Starc is the best line-up, so I'm concerned that they're being rested for Trent Bridge. Starc is too inconsistent and should be saved for a possible cameo later in the series. The Worcs game should have seen Siddle in a bowl off for two spots with Harris and Bird.

  • Greatest_Game on July 1, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    A series bound to surprise. Aus' problems were leadership, & Lehman's appointment interrupts that cycle. Their team is responding with a fresh mindset, but whether can Clarke capitalise on that, learn from his mistakes, & re-tool his captaincy remains to be seen. Aus have very good players, & should not be underestimated.

    English fans flushed with confidence should remember this. In 03, SA cricket was in disarray. After a World Cup debacle, Shuan Pollock was axed as captain, and a 22 year old rookie appointed for the England tour. The Eng Captain exuded confidence, stating "all is not well in the SA camp," & arrogantly called SA's new skipper "what's his name." Victory was assured, it seemed.

    The smug skipper lasted 1 test! After Smith bludgeoned the Eng attack with a handy 277, Nasser Hussain resigned in tears. 10 years later Smith has not lost a series in Eng, & has retired 3 Eng captains. Confidence is positive. Hubris is deadly.

    Cook is quiet for good reason. Heed his wisdom.

  • Meety on July 1, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    @Digimont on (July 1, 2013, 20:36 GMT) - you raise a good point. I am not keen on "trying" Warner down the order - he has very little experience below the opening slot & for that matter neither does Cowan. The positions that Cowan & Warner should be vying for is opener or #3. Hughes could be trialled as low as #4. I would raher Smith make the side down the order than Warner.

  • ScottStevo on July 1, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    @JonoMakim, and Ricky Ponting outscored him in the last shield season. Why is RP too old and CR just right? We hounded out a thoroughbred because he was "too old" only to usher in a guy roughly the same age! Also, FC runs don't equivocate to test runs - Hick/Ramprakash...We're certainly not trying to convey a youthful expression with his inclusion, that's for certain. It's not about one series either, mate. We need to ensure that we have a team that's moving forwards. This selection smacks of desperation, a desperation that I don't understand as we have other guys who could've been selected and utilised for several years if managed in the right way - which I think Boof would've been capable of achieving. As @bpli64 suggests, if Eng had pulled this same move 5-10 years ago, we would've been cracking up laughing. Nonetheless, he's been selected and chosen to open, so I hope he lives up to his FC hype and spares us our blushes and uses his county experience well and scores big runs...

  • Digimont on July 1, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    Speaking as an Australian: This would have to be the most unsettled side coming into an Ashes campaign in my lifetime, with the possible exception of the team minus the World Series Cricketers in the late 1970s. We're now talking about picking batsmen to TRY them out of position in a test match? These players are not working out in their position of choice, so lets try them somewhere else in the order? Is the game plan one of cross fingers? At least if we lose an early wicket or two we can just send in another opener. I fear the worst.

  • on July 1, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    @ScottStevo, Why wouldn't they pick Rogers? If Hussey was still available, would you not pick him? The bloke has racked up ton after ton over the last six months, more than any of Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Smith or Khawaja have in the last 2 years and is currently the leading run scorer in the county competition. How exactly can you leave the guy out? Its about winning cricket matches not trying to make a youthful expression upon your opposition's media.

  • 64blip on July 1, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    I have to say that if England had just picked a 35 year-old who'd played one test, five years ago, in which he scored 15 & 4, because apparently he was the best we had available, then I would be expecting Aussie fans to be all over us. And quite rightly. That's without getting onto recalling a 35 year-old wicket keeper who was dropped for not being good enough and hasn't improved since. Anyway, soon all the talking will be over. Good luck.

  • TenDonebyaShooter on July 1, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Could be a wise move. Rogers is experienced in England and knows all the English bowlers.

  • on July 1, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    Why not Wade? He has shown good temperament at times and has a decent technique too. Warner at #3, Clarke #4, Khawaja/Hughes #5, Haddin #6, Smith #7, Starc #8, Siddle #9, Pattinson #10, Lyon #11

    This would be a good one to start with IMO. Cowan/ Rogers can be tried out at #5 or #3 positions based on how the current #3 and #5 perform.. Cowan has never been bad.. he has had good times in the middle but no big scores to show..

  • ScottStevo on July 1, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    Well, this is the first decision from Boof I don't agree with. Rogers shouldn't be part of this squad and in no way should be in the team. If he's there to paper cracks, they're not coming from openers, it's after we go1 down, we're suddenly 4 down. Plus, I'm sick of hearing how he's experienced - he's not, he's played ONE test match. That's not experienced, that's a rookie. He should've been selected years ago, and I feel for him, but now isn't the time. If Ponting apparently was too old at 35 after his illustrious career, why is that this bloke is perceived as our saviour? I hope he does well as we're going to be complete laughing stock if he fails miserably; and rightly so too. Feel for Cowan as he's done nothing wrong. Also, why are people suggesting we select our side based on the results of 2 meaningless warm up games? If a scores more than b, then he's should be in. So we're basing selections on 2 games now. Wow, it's no wonder we can't get it right....

  • lihtness on July 1, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    Too much fuss about team composition. One has to look at the aussie reserves and ask a question. Can any combination of bowlers get Cook/Root/Bell/Trott/Pietersen/Prior twice within 2.5 days while NOT conceding too many runs. How many is too many? only aussie batsmen can say. Going by the records, you can say anything above 600 in both innings combined is too many, given that anderson is the going great and swann is never easy to score against. I know that you NEVER count aussies out but all these batsmen coming off age together in THIS series? Also I just dont see any combination of this bowling line up taking 20 wickets consistently. Only time will tell. With commonsense approach like the new coach, Australia can save the blushes and take all the matches to last day and hopefully win some.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on July 1, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    Have we not learnt from the recent past? Need 6 proper batsmen, 1 keeper, 4 bowlers. No bits and pieces players meaning no Henriques, Faulkner as one of 4 bowlers only*certainly not good enough to bat at 7), no Maxwell etc etc.

  • Batmanian on July 1, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    Agree with Jono Makim. The Khawaja lobby should look at the warm up team; he did well in one innings but not the other at Somerset, and would be playing again at Worcs if he were likely (that said, if Clarke is injured, he's now in). Siddle hasn't clicked back yet; he would also be playing at Worcs if he were not out of the running.

  • Caino94 on July 1, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    Good idea for the opening combo (left and right hander) who both have solid techniques and are unlikely to be flashy outside off against the new swinging ball such as a Hughes or Warner. I would have either Cowan or Khawaja at 3 (whoever performs well in the next warm up should get the nod). 4 - hughes, has scored some runs so far and the ball wont swing as much and is handling spin abit better 5 - Clarke, lets face it, he plays his best cricket there and hes the best no.5 batsmen in the world. 6 - warner, come in late in the innings and could give the old ball a whack and completely destroy the tired bowling attack (like Gilly did) while also having experience against the new ball after the 80th over. Hadds at 7, Sidds at 8 (the heart and soul of the bowling attack) we need a never say die attitude in the team when things get tough. 9 I would have Pattinson, aggressive and our best fast bowler. 10 - Lyon (our best and most experienced spinner) 11. Bird - consistant line and length

  • Batmanian on July 1, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    Sanity prevails. Cowan is not a first drop, obviously, but neither is Hughes or Khawaja; I'm now ready to see Warner given another chance there. So Watson, Rogers (3?) (4?) Clarke (6?) Hadden construes as: Watson, Rogers, Warner, Hughes, Clarke (6?) Haddin Does Khawaja get his third chance? Smith is more deserving, obviously, but I'm not averse to giving Khawaja a go, either. If they are still seriously contemplating him as anything other than cover for Clarke, I'd rather see Khawaja start the series than be backup; he's got some serious hangups and could do with the vote of confidence. Conversely, Smith can slot in as required. Of course Watson(opening)+Faulkner (6 or 7) yields four and a half quicks, which would be nice. Haddin is not the greatest at batting with the tail, or responsibly in a pinch, so six might actually be better for him than seven. Watson, Rogers, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Haddin, Faulkner, Starc, Pattinson,(Siddle, Harris or Bird), Lyon (or Agar) is competitive

  • Thefakebook on July 1, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    I think very high of Agar and OZ should really give him a chance I meant he can't be worse than Xavier and Maxwell!

  • hhillbumper on July 1, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    lyndon mcpaul. It is not sarcasm.We keep being told how this is the best team ever. Needless to say England have been very quiet but I guess the worse Aus down on the pitch the better they do in the press room.I mean following the whitewash in India you would have thought it had been Aus that had won.All we have heard is about the bowling being the greatest ever. All England have done is make a final and win a test series. Keep making as many predictions as you want and we will see who holds the Ashes

  • Chris_P on July 1, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    @Big_Maxy_Walker. So you would pick Watson & dump Cowan due to him being older & an ordinary batting average? FYI, For the same period since Cowan's elevation to the test ranks, he has averaged 32.90 while in the same period Watson has averaged 26.17. And Watson is older! Watson's bowling average in the same period is 49.16. How about some realistic posts with some facts behind your posts rather than backing your favourite. Watson, in simple terms, does not deserve to be there. His form for the past 3 years has been disgraceful yet I see everyone putting him as our savour? I agree Cowan doesn't need to be there, but he deserves it way before Watson for the simple reason that he has been averaging almost double to what Watson has managed to do at FC for the past 3 seasons.

  • on July 1, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    @Mitty2, Sorry, but can't agree with your pushing forward of Cowan. So many people rubbish Warner and Hughes but Cowan has an inferior record to both and is far less likely to go on and make big scores. That Warner is inconsistent is one of the biggest myths going around, he has gone past fifty 10 times in 34 innings. Ed 7 times in 30. In any case Cowan will probably still play anyway, why on earth would they leave Khawaja out for Cowan here if they weren't going to pick him? He has been getting plenty of cricket at Notts, so its not because they want to give him a hit in case they need him, it's because he is going to play. So much love here for Khawaja but he just isn't going to be there at Trent Bridge.

    You are right in part on Starc, but he has huge upside potential, just no record to show as of yet.

  • HansonKoch on July 1, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    Nick Maddison just smashed a back to back centuries including 15 sixes against tougher opposition than Somerset. Meanwhile Cowan and Khawaja both struggled.

    Makes you wonder what you have to do to get a line drawn through your name.

  • Mitty2 on July 1, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Also just to lengthen my negativity on starc (if my first comment was published): if we play siddle, Lyon, starc and patto we might as well kiss the first test goodbye. If we play: bird, patto, siddle/Harris (depends on this warm up) and Lyon, well I think we're very good chances. God, I beg you, please let Boof see the light and let bird show why he is our country's best seamer in this warm up - for the sake of me having some sporting solace (collingwood are being terrible atm), DON'T PLAY STARC.

    Now, on the news - the only real news was where Rogers was going to play; I wanted him at 3 but he'll open, so be it, not flustered. Would prefer Cowan opening - in an ideal world I'd like Watson to give up tests :) - but oh well. Can Ed bat 3? Probably not, but I want him in the team, he'll add necessary stability. Hope he does well in this game and cement cement his position, he deserves it more than anyone but rogers and Clarke. As usual, watto will fail. After two tests in comes Ed.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on July 1, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    The idea of picking Cowan is ridiculous. He is 30 and will not get any better. His first class average is under 40. I would rather pick someone who's potential is much higher in Usman who is still young and deserves a lengthy run at number 3 just like Cowan and Hughes have got in the last year or so. Watson, Rogers, UTK, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Pattinson, Harris, Lyon, Bird

  • sharidas on July 1, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    All these batsmen who are vying for a spot in the team, have played against the best bowlers in Australia. A bit of self belief, and they can handle any bowling they are put against. Since there is place only for Eleven in the team,lets leave it to the selectors. If one takes a look at the various opinions, the selectors have a hard job indeed !

  • Dheepan on July 1, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    i would have left cowan/hughes to open along with watto and rogers at no3. oz need the steady hand/head of rogers at 3.. clarke/khwaja can shuffle between 4 and 5. no 6 is the biggest problem, very difficult for haddin.. playing faulkner is a bad idea.. aussies need good batting! i would play warner at no 6 hoping he can do a gilly and take on the second/first new ball if necessary.. i say first new ball, because we all know how unpredictable this oz batting order is..

  • Mitty2 on July 1, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    Do I really have to do this again? I'm actually becoming sick of arguing for no starc. Here's a list of 10 Aus quicks who would do better in England who are not in the squad (although being a devout supporter who sat through almost all of the Indian series in incredible pain ill still cheer him on if in the terribly unlikely occasion he suceeds): MITCHELL JOHNSON, Sayers, sandhu, cutting (might still be injured I'm not sure), McDermott, NCN, butterworth, hilfenhaus, copeland, putland (lol), and just to add an eleventh although he can't because of lack of games: Cummings.

    Now over who starc is being placed above - bird and Harris. Starc has an average of 34 and 32 in tests and FC respectively - not to mention a poor economy rate. The comparison to bird and Harris on statistics is HUGE.

    Now on what starc does in games: relieves the pressure on batsmen, adds pressure on his fellow bowlers, leaks runs and is a liability with the old ball (and for the majority the new).

    MJ > starc.

  • on July 1, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    Rogers Watson khawaja Hughes Clarke warner haddin agar Pattinson Harris bird

    This is what I feel is best lineup for test 1. I prefer bird over siddle and agar over Lyon, agar bats well like Faulkner, starc I feel is unreliable and having Pattinson Bird and Harris feels strong, I'd choose mj if forced to choose leftie , I'd swap agar with Faulkner if seaming wicket.

  • stickboy on July 1, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    It really seems Australia is making the right decisions with selections FINALLY. Play the best players available...simple! Boof is the best thing that has happened to Australia in years. Under Mickie Arthur I think we would have taken a more conservative approach and only changed the team after they lost the first test.

  • SirViv1973 on July 1, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    @Lyndon McPaul, Firstly I will say im not 1 of the 5 nil brigade you mention, although I do expect Eng to win the series, I have always said Aus will have their moments. However i'm just trying to work out what you mean by 'oz's improved showing of late'. Are you judging that on one warm up game against a below strength Somerset team? because need I remind you oz haven't won any of their last 7 international matches! and how are Eng out of form? Are you judging that on one fairly ave batting display in the game against Essex? The last time we played any test cricket we beat NZL pretty convincly NZL. The games against Somerset & Essex & Aus game to come against Worcester mean nothing as they are just designed to give players a bit of practice, at best they may improve 1 or 2 indivudals confidence.

  • on July 1, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    Why does everyone thin is Khawaja vs. Hughes??? Remember hughes is incumbent and will definitely play. It's Khawaja Vs. Cowan.

  • H_Z_O on July 1, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    @Phil Katon I couldn't disagree more. I think one of Australia's worst decisions in recent years was to try and turn Steve Smith into a Test match all-rounder. It actually clouded the fact he has a pretty solid batting technique that, with a bit of work, could see him become a very good middle order batsman for years to come.

    Lyon's not as bad as many make out. You say "Nobody is threatened by Lyon", but he's bowled pretty well against the likes of Kohli, Tendulkar and Sangakkara. And Hauritz, who IMHO isn't as good as Lyon, out-bowled Swanny in 2009. Smith probably will get a go at 6 (just don't see Cowan as a three, and now Rogers has been confirmed to open, Khawaja seems likely to play at 3, leaving a slot at 6), but on the basis of his batting, not his bowling. And if he struggles I wouldn't be surprised to see Warner take the number 6 slot as the series progresses.

  • on July 1, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    If the Aussies go with Watson, Rogers, Warner, Clarke, Hughes and Smith as a top 6, I am not going to bother watching the Ashes. There is no joy to be had from beating that lot. At least Cowan and Khawaja look to have some kind of technique. You keep picking the IPL bits and pieces types and a load of sloggers Australia if you like but I would prefer to see a contest.

  • wnwn on July 1, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    Predicted Australian team: Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Warner, Haddin, Starc, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon.

    With Australia's batting being so weak i think they require 6 specialist batsmen. I think Usman Khawaja will play because Darren Lehmann was also his coach for Queensland and he will become the long term number 3.

  • Cameronburt96 on July 1, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    Rovers definitely strengthens Australia team. Given that they both made fifties vs Somerset, Hughes and khawaja should play (at 3 and 4). Clarke obviously in, probably at 5, though interchangeable with khawaja, who could drop down. Warner at 6 seems good, Clarke will aid him to make big scores, and he is a better option than smith/Cowan/Faulkner. Haddin at 7. Four bowlers as mentioned in article, unless Harris bowls incredibly against Worcestershire.

  • slow.mo on July 1, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    Why is Faulkner considered for no 7? Wade or Smith can bat at 6 and Haddin at 7. Faulkner's bowling is not that good either. If you need an extra pacer Watson is there. Smith can provide some spin option. Wade should have been playing this match. It is ridiculous to not let him play at least one practice match.

    And has Siddle done enough to be rested from this match? Harris or Bird should very well be considered for the first test if they do well in this match.

    The message about Khawaja is not clear. Has he been rested because his place is secure for the first test? Has he batted that much better than Hughes?

    Glad that they kept Agar with the team. He will be very handy as a net bolwer if not a XI bowler. Wish Ahmed was withe team as well, just as a net bowler.

  • chitti_cricket on July 1, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    The Australian bowling attach should be of 4 fast/medium fast bowlers Watson as fourth bowler, Watson should bowl. Then spinner that should be of course Lyon. The batting looks a far better deal now. The fast men should include Pattinson, Stark and Bird, Bird because English have very little knowledge of this bowling and Lyon should develop some special balls to add verity to his bowling and should be trained by legends like Warne, Tim May etel to give good attaching options to Skipper. In batting also they should have both Smith and Warner down the order and should ask Rogers to play anchor and or Clarke and every one should play around them as rest all are attacking batsmen. Smith also adds another dimension to bowling attack and should be #5. Thus Clarke will have more bowling options if England plays fourth innings of tests. My 2 cents on Australia this summer than English. The previous summer if we recall England had these many bowling options in their team.

  • on July 1, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    *Amends fantasy team*

    Good news for the aussies. Not great news for our bowlers.

  • Narbavi on July 1, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    My line up would be Rogers and Watson as openers, warner at 3, hughes, clarke, haddin, faulkner, starc, pattinson, siddle and Lyon. Lower middle order is a liability with haddin at 6 and debutant faulkner at 7 but Australia have to take that gamble i guess!!

  • hilditchmustgo on July 1, 2013, 14:49 GMT

    Good to hear about Watson and Rogers. I'm very against giving Faulkner a go at 7 and bringing Haddin up to 6. Just because our strength is bowling doesn't mean we would stack the team full of them. In fact, we should do the opposite. I'm keen to see the team as Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Warner, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Harris, Lyon. I like the look of Starc and yes, he gives he attack variety, but I still think he needs to develop. He leaks a few too many runs early on because of inconsistency.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 1, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    @Mary and Sunil i think you are spot on, omitting Khawaja means he is good to go for the first test. The real battle for me is between Cowan and Smith for the final 6 batting spot. For the bowlers a good performance from Harris would be fantastic, he is a geniune wicket taker. What happens if Agar bowls well, will he join Lyon.

  • on July 1, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    I can't believe people here think Ussie is 'locked in'. He has scored 194 @ 32 in four lead up matches. I'd think he has just about been locked out. Hughes by comparison has made 184 @ 61 in 2 matches.

    I reckon @ Frank Woods just about has it right with Cowan and Khawaja in a non existent battle for 3 or 4 and Smith challenging for the number 6 slot. Perhaps Warner has already been pencilled in on his decent track record, but I can't imagine how Khawaja has been.

  • Ozcricketwriter on July 1, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    This is the side, it seems:

    Watson, Rogers, (Cowan/Warner), Clarke, (Smith/Hughes), Haddin, Pattinson, Starc, Harris, (Bird/Lyon/Agar).

    3 spots still in doubt. Warner seems to be favourite for the number 3 spot while Smith seems to be favourite for the number 5 spot. I'd say right now Bird is favourite for the number 11 spot. Siddle and Khawaja are so badly out of form that they are out of contention.

  • Amith_S on July 1, 2013, 14:35 GMT

    @Keithmillerhair i think you are right, Khawaja was fantastic last time he batted and he is ahead in the pecking order but i would still have given him more match practice. He is my prediction as one of our best batsman for this series. Also as well as some excellent openers and a good 3 in Khawaja, Australia is missing a swash buckling demon at number six, a batsmen who can score a 70 in a session, aka, an AB De Villiers, who can take a teetering middle order score and turn it into a 400 plus…..that kind of player would be excellent against a tired Finn, Broad, Tremlett. Warner is my hope but he needs to ensure he behaves himself. Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes is a great top 5 for the first test and i guess Smith can put his name forward for the 6 spot.

  • Jediroya on July 1, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    Well that decision just ended 2 Test careers. Firstly Watson who will fail once again at opening (seriously has everyone forgotten the dreadful form he was in the last year he was opening?) and will no longer have any excuses after being granted all his wishes. Secondly Cowan who will have been forgotten by the time they eventually wise up and look for another opener. Pity really because Cowan would have been ideal for English conditions: 50 dot balls, see off the shine, then get out and let the strokemakers strut their stuff.

  • RandyOZ on July 1, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Siddle does not deserve a spot. I seriously hope he is not already guaranteed a spot. Anyone with any common sense would take Bird over him any day of the week. Cowan should also go, unless he scores big in this match.

  • RandyOZ on July 1, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    Honestly, I am sick to death of Siddle getting a free ride into the team. He has literally done nothing in any of the warm up matches!! Bird or Harris should be picked ahead of him ANY DAY. Hopefully Khawaja is being rested because he has done enough. Cowan would want to make runs or he is gone. My line up for the first test, and the only one we should be considering: Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Haddin, Faulkner/Smith, Harris, Pattinson, Starc/Bird, Lyon.

  • KeithMillersHair on July 1, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    Hmmm, leaving Khwaja out of this match seems interesting. I am going to assume it is because he is currently ahead of Cowan and Hughes in the pecking order, rather than behind. I.e, unless Cowan performs very well in this match he is out. Also good to see Smith being given a red hot chance here. I doubt he will play, but as a developing genuine middle order batsman, good player of spin and part time spin option (although certainly not an allrounder IMO) if he makes a big score here I think he could be a late bolter and make the side at six. Personally I am dead against playing Faulkner at 7 - as much as I love him as a player. Our weakness is batting, plus we have Watson to bowl at least a few overs, so we need the batting line-up as strong as we can make it. The fact most of our bowlers can bat a bit is a bonus, but not an excuse to mess around.

  • Mary_786 on July 1, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    @TafaraJakopo i don' think leaving Ussie out is a bad move, he top scored against Sussex and is ready to go at 3 so leaving him out means they have him locked in and deservingly so. The guy fighting for his spot is Cowan and if he fails to convert his start in this game then he won't play. I do like the opening combination of Rogers and Watson. As for the bowlers i think we will go for Siddle, Starc, Pattinson and Lyon but i would hate to leave Rhino Harris out as he is dangerous when fit.

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on July 1, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Go Chrissy!! Well deserved top-scoring in County championship plus year of toil in aus and England. Openers,4,5 are confirmed which just leaves pos 3,6 with Cowan and khawaja fighting it out for 3 and Warner and Smith for 6. I actually think that khawaja has been pencilled in and he is sitting this out as they wanted to give Smith a game, Hughes needs to make most of confidence, Clarke's back, Rogers a game, Watto a bowl and Cowan a chance and since khawaja has played plenty of cricket thus far through the A tour he was the man to step up. Things will become very interesting if Cowan get a ton. Smith would be a good choice at 6 with some lefties as well just needs to keep practising them.

  • on July 1, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    @Phil Katon, while we would all like to have a Warne in the team, have you really had a look at Lyon' stats? Best off-spinner in years, better figures than Richie Benaud after 22 tests, 76 wickets at 33. He's only 25 and still developing his craft. If the rest of the team wasn't in such turmoil, with few settled places, we would be quietly celebrating his development. I am. Let's focus on the batting.

  • RandyOZ on July 1, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Absolutely fantastic news! Lehmann really is ticking every box, and finally we are starting to pick our best team!

  • Sunil_Batra on July 1, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    I think this is a good decision, Rogers and Watson are our 2 best openers. Khawaja is our best 3 and firms up for that position given he is not playing this warm up game despite top scoring last innings. If i had to pick between Hughes and Cowan i would go for Hughes so the batting lineup may look like Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Warner/Smith for the first test which looks good.

  • Ozcricketwriter on July 1, 2013, 14:08 GMT

    Good idea. I had Watson opening with Rogers and Cowan at 3. I think that this is a good move.

  • dirtydozen on July 1, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    and why should the aussies worry when a player like chris rogers is the leading run scorer in county cricket this season. But have a look at england where they have even struggled with a team like essex.

  • Wealwayslosethecricket on July 1, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    Interesting that Lehmann has already fixed the two opening positions well before the first test, despite having half a dozen openers in the squad. Until now, I was half expecting Rogers to bat at six as a replacement for Michael Hussey, but maybe this is for the best, because it will help our line-up find stability and hopefully establish depth and purpose. 1) Rogers 2) Watson 3) Cowan 4) Hughes 5) Clarke 6) Khawaja 7) Haddin With the addition of Rogers, suddenly the Australian line-up looks twice as solid as before, especially with one of the best batsmen in the world in the middle order.

  • venkatesh018 on July 1, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    Hope they don't drop the gritty Ed Cowan from the final XI for Trent Bridge...The playing XI for first test should probably be: Rogers, Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Khwaja/Smith, Haddin, Pattinson, Starc, Siddle and Lyon. If Watson is fit to bowl, all bases look covered. Touchwood.

  • Potatis on July 1, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    It'll be an exciting game. I think Cowan should be fine, he's not out of form, he plays comfortably then gets out for a score below 50. He's got to break through a mental barrier and the bigger runs will come. Watson has the same mental barrier for passing 100. There's no reason these guys can't hit the big scores, but they need that first big breakthrough. Rogers will be under pressure, a pair of low scores and his spot could be taken by Ussie who has some runs on the board from the first match. Also, I think Steve Smith will do well, I rate him highly. He played with a lot of confidence in India and I feel he is more solid than Hughes, Watson and Khawaja, especially against spin. A big score from him and he'll be in contention. I think Bird will be outstanding and will play in the first test. I hope so anyway, Siddle is underdone.

  • dirtydozen on July 1, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    why is everyone criticizing lyon when he has taken 7 wickets in an innings against india in india. Anyway he is better than the likes of doherty and kreja

  • Rampant_Aussie on July 1, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    Great to see they have included Chris Rogers; terrific player and will add a lot of depth to Australia's batting in the Ashes. I would have played Khawaja, but I suppose the selectors have seen enough of him on the A tour as well. Unless Smith gets runs, he will probably play. The bowling line for the 1st test will be Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon and probably Starc, but the selectors may reconsider the third seamer's spot if either Harris or Bird take wickets. Faulkner is not quite ready for this level yet. But it's the batsman that will take everyone's attention. Hundreds are needed from the likes of Cowan, Hughes and Watson. But if I hazard a guess, the team for the 1st test will be: Watson, Cowan, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Haddin, Starc, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon. Decent pitch at New Road with a bit of movement if you know where to look for it, should be a good game.

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on July 1, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Pattinson, Siddle, Starc looks lethal, inconsistent workhorse, up and down superstar. Pattinson, Harris, Bird looks lethal, consistent workhorse, accurate mini mgrath star.

    Worst thing as a batsmen (especially in Eng) is when there is no weak link, that every bowler will strangle your runs and keep you guessing. GO HUGHSEY!!! U LITTLE GUN!!

  • on July 1, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    @hhillbumper...your sarcasm is palpable hhilbumper (and mildly amusing) but best to beware that your tounge in cheek comments dont come to more closely reflect reality than all the "5-0 England Whitewash Commenters' this blog attracts. This may be the most uncredentialed Aussie side in many years but their bowling talent is unquestioned and the batsmen though unproven are all desperate to prove themselves. The odds for at least a couple of them to have a breakout series against a talented though often innocuous English attack (now Swannless perhaps) wouldnt be too high IMO and in all probability our bowling attack might make their task a whole lot easier. But then again maybe with Oz's improved showing of late you are just hedging your bets between Sarcasm and backing in Oz against an out of form English lineup.

  • on July 1, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    Australia's biggest threat (at least perceived as such by the UK media) is their bowling. Pattison, Starc, Sidle and Lyon, are hardly Mcgrath, Gillespie, (plus any of the other decent first change seamers of that golden era) and Warne. IMHO their biggest problem is lack of a decent spinner. Therefore, if I was selecting the XI, I would select Steve Smith as a genuine all-rounder, and give him license to go for a few runs. Just get decent revs. on the ball, and try bowl wicket taking deliveries! I.e. pitched up on or around off consistently, with a good few googlies to keep Cook and co. on their toes. Why on earth not?! Nobody is threatened by Lyon, and he could at least keep it tight from one end. If Smith goes for a few without taking wickets, he is a decent no.6 anyway. Even as an Englishman, I like how he plays the game, and considering some of the batting higher up the order, I see it as a no-brainer! A CRICKET fan 1st! :) Eng fan DISTANT 2nd! 2005 encore PLEASE guys! :D

  • on July 1, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Agree with Lyndon Paul, it's early days but the question has to be asked - What's Lehmann doing? If Cowan gets a go ahead of Khawaja for the first test i'll be damned. Khawaja scored a total of 100 runs and and average of 50 for this game while cowan got dismissed for single figures in the first inning followed by a 46 in the second meaning an average in the mid twenties at best, and even thats after playing SEVEN county matches, he should be in killer form by now. What more can Ussie do?? He had definatley done enough to get a second go...farout.

  • valvolux on July 1, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Gawd i hope bird gets a go in front of starc. Starc can too easily be attacked and his line and length goes to pot and he becomes a johnson esque liability. When you have a guy like bird available who bowls stump to stump consistently with mcgrath like nibble you play him 10/10 times in england. I hope they dont make the same mistake they made leaving clark out until the 4th test last time we toured when he was cllearly our best bowler in these conditions. Starc has shown he can be deadly, but so far he hasnt shown any consistency to say he should be picked. We need a tight bowling unit with no pressure relief points and for me thats pattinson, harris and bird...maybe siddle in front of harris.

  • siddhartha87 on July 1, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Harries should be preferred over Starc for the 1st test.Starc should have been included in match. Also i guess if Rogers outperforms Cowan in this match,he will be in playing XI for first test.

  • Moppa on July 1, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    Agar is a strange selection for this match. Surely he's miles away from playing at Trent Bridge and either Siddle (see earlier articles about him needing lots of overs to warm up) or Starc (see @Lyndon McPaul's post here) need the extra run. I'm also a little bit surprised that Smith is, apparently, in the running for Trent Bridge. On a more positive note, resting Pattinson and playing Rogers were no brainers and should have both cherry ripe for Trent Bridge.

  • hhillbumper on July 1, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    oh god help us.Even their b team looks like a stronger unit then any to0 have ever come to these shores. Australia world number 1.

  • on July 1, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    I'd say its a decent strategy.. Pattinson and Siddle are the best of the lot Aussies can imagine to field in five day version of game.. And I'd go for Mitchel Starc for the third Seamer.. apart from bringing some variety into the attack, I reckon starc s gonna be handy especially since we all have seen the way Trent Boult had against the English skipper early on in the innings.. I think Boof's got it right

  • Chris_P on July 1, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    I would have preferred Siddle to have had another gallop. Steve Smith must come under serious consideration if they selected him, so it is up to him to perform. Good to see Faulkner getting another go as well, but the 4 batsmen mentioned in the article are all under the microscope this match. I also thought Haddin might have been rested, but it's a good bet that Boof will be asking him a lot of questions regarding the bowlers' performances.

  • on July 1, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    good move from clarke to give rest to his fire power bowling.

  • on July 1, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Interesting times continue on! Doesn't look like Ussie will be starting in the first test with these selections, he may well have played here in front of Cowan or Smith for that matter. Siddle too may be in some doubt, perhaps Bird and Harris have been left to battle it out for a spot in the team at Trent Bridge. I would certainly think that Patto, Starc and Lyon will all be playing. In any case i'm looking forward to some good cricket at Worcester, regardless of who plays in the first test it would be nice to see all the squad members putting up performances and challenging for a place in the team.

  • on July 1, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    What's Lehmann Doing? Starc still needs to prove that he can produce his devastating spells consistently and Siddle also needs to prove that he is in wicket taking form. If those three are left out because they are in for the first test then why would bird and Harris even try unless they intend to go with a 4 man pace attack and why would they make that decision this far out without being able to properly assess the pitch and conditions? This decision seems to be premature to say the least and is not based on current form by which Harris would be the 2nd bowler picked followed by starc, then bird then Siddle (though this might of changed with the 2nd warmup). I was also looking forward to seeing how Starc might handle the responsibilities of being the 'spearhead' against W/shire and in my mind he still had plenty to prove!

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  • on July 1, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    What's Lehmann Doing? Starc still needs to prove that he can produce his devastating spells consistently and Siddle also needs to prove that he is in wicket taking form. If those three are left out because they are in for the first test then why would bird and Harris even try unless they intend to go with a 4 man pace attack and why would they make that decision this far out without being able to properly assess the pitch and conditions? This decision seems to be premature to say the least and is not based on current form by which Harris would be the 2nd bowler picked followed by starc, then bird then Siddle (though this might of changed with the 2nd warmup). I was also looking forward to seeing how Starc might handle the responsibilities of being the 'spearhead' against W/shire and in my mind he still had plenty to prove!

  • on July 1, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Interesting times continue on! Doesn't look like Ussie will be starting in the first test with these selections, he may well have played here in front of Cowan or Smith for that matter. Siddle too may be in some doubt, perhaps Bird and Harris have been left to battle it out for a spot in the team at Trent Bridge. I would certainly think that Patto, Starc and Lyon will all be playing. In any case i'm looking forward to some good cricket at Worcester, regardless of who plays in the first test it would be nice to see all the squad members putting up performances and challenging for a place in the team.

  • on July 1, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    good move from clarke to give rest to his fire power bowling.

  • Chris_P on July 1, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    I would have preferred Siddle to have had another gallop. Steve Smith must come under serious consideration if they selected him, so it is up to him to perform. Good to see Faulkner getting another go as well, but the 4 batsmen mentioned in the article are all under the microscope this match. I also thought Haddin might have been rested, but it's a good bet that Boof will be asking him a lot of questions regarding the bowlers' performances.

  • on July 1, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    I'd say its a decent strategy.. Pattinson and Siddle are the best of the lot Aussies can imagine to field in five day version of game.. And I'd go for Mitchel Starc for the third Seamer.. apart from bringing some variety into the attack, I reckon starc s gonna be handy especially since we all have seen the way Trent Boult had against the English skipper early on in the innings.. I think Boof's got it right

  • hhillbumper on July 1, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    oh god help us.Even their b team looks like a stronger unit then any to0 have ever come to these shores. Australia world number 1.

  • Moppa on July 1, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    Agar is a strange selection for this match. Surely he's miles away from playing at Trent Bridge and either Siddle (see earlier articles about him needing lots of overs to warm up) or Starc (see @Lyndon McPaul's post here) need the extra run. I'm also a little bit surprised that Smith is, apparently, in the running for Trent Bridge. On a more positive note, resting Pattinson and playing Rogers were no brainers and should have both cherry ripe for Trent Bridge.

  • siddhartha87 on July 1, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Harries should be preferred over Starc for the 1st test.Starc should have been included in match. Also i guess if Rogers outperforms Cowan in this match,he will be in playing XI for first test.

  • valvolux on July 1, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Gawd i hope bird gets a go in front of starc. Starc can too easily be attacked and his line and length goes to pot and he becomes a johnson esque liability. When you have a guy like bird available who bowls stump to stump consistently with mcgrath like nibble you play him 10/10 times in england. I hope they dont make the same mistake they made leaving clark out until the 4th test last time we toured when he was cllearly our best bowler in these conditions. Starc has shown he can be deadly, but so far he hasnt shown any consistency to say he should be picked. We need a tight bowling unit with no pressure relief points and for me thats pattinson, harris and bird...maybe siddle in front of harris.

  • on July 1, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Agree with Lyndon Paul, it's early days but the question has to be asked - What's Lehmann doing? If Cowan gets a go ahead of Khawaja for the first test i'll be damned. Khawaja scored a total of 100 runs and and average of 50 for this game while cowan got dismissed for single figures in the first inning followed by a 46 in the second meaning an average in the mid twenties at best, and even thats after playing SEVEN county matches, he should be in killer form by now. What more can Ussie do?? He had definatley done enough to get a second go...farout.