The Australian Test cricket squad for The Ashes series against arch enemy England was named today. The team is a mixture of time tested experience and youthful exuberance.
Coming back in to the squad are quicks Brett Lee and Stuart Clark along with spinner Nathan Hauritz who has impressed recently. The experience of Lee and Clark will be invaluable for the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle.
Andrew McDonald and Shane Watson take the All-Rounder spots at the expense of troubled genius Andrew Symonds. Marcus North can also fill an all-rounder role if needed.
On the batting side young star Phil Hughes gets his first taste of Ashes cricket after his superb form against South Africa. The opener joins with the resurgent Simon Katich at the top of the order.
Out of sorts middle order batsman Michael Hussey retains his spot in the squad. Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin gets his chance to prove he can perform on the big stage. His back up is the uncapped South Australian keeper Graham Manou.
Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke are the captain and vice-captain continuing the great leadership that has served Australia so well.
This is the complete 16 man squad.
- Ricky Ponting (captain)
- Michael Clarke (vice-captain)
- Stuart Clark
- Brad Haddin
- Nathan Hauritz
- Ben Hilfenhaus
- Phillip Hughes
- Michael Hussey
- Mitchell Johnson
- Simon Katich
- Brett Lee
- Graham Manou
- Andrew McDonald
- Marcus North
- Peter Siddle
- Shane Watson, subject to fitness
The young fast bowling group of Mitchell, Siddle and Hilfenhaus get to try their tricks for the first time on English soil in test conditions. Twenty year old Phil Hughes has been tearing it up with county side Middlesex giving him a great feel for English pitches.
Make no mistake, this is a very inexperienced squad but it is full of guys who want to cement themselves in the team for years to come. What better way to prove themselves than in the biggest Test cricket showdown of the year.
I can't wait for The Ashes to start.
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