Whatever will be the result of this return Ashes series 2013-14, one thing is for sure that Australia now have identified the players who'll take them forward, unlike the situation they had three months earlier in England when almost no one was sure of his position in the eleven. Today, home team announced just a 12 member squad for the series, comprising players who're showing form and have the ability to serve the nation for a long time to come..
Schedule : Ashes 2013-14.
Chris Rogers had lost almost all hopes of a comeback into national team after poor debut test match against India back in 2008 but his continued stints in English county circuit tempted selectors for another chance and he grabbed it with both hands three months ago, showing solidarity against the new ball and good range of strokes as well, if the need be. Rogers will now open the inning with David Warner who was in all sorts of trouble on that England tour but now has settled down and scored heavily in domestic circuit. These two left handers will hope to set the platform for rest of the batting in home conditions in next two months.
Shane Watson has been in some serious form this year but has failed most times trying to be over-aggressive. He suffered mild injury during the last ODI in India but has recovered, and will wanted to seal the no.3 position once and for all. Same is the story for captain Michael Clarke whose back problem is just refusing to go away. He's claiming to be fit once again after yet another rehabilitation program and will take the no.4 position, ahead of Steve Smith who's one of the most talented youngsters in World cricket. Smith bats according to situation, and his indifferent techniques allows him to frustrate the opposition.
There were plenty of criticism coming as Aussies sent their team for an ODI series in ODI last month, claiming it wasn't ideal preparation for the more important Ashes test series but George Bailey is here to prove everyone wrong. He showed such superb form on that tour and now has earned the no.6 slot, ahead of Alex Doolan who will only get a chance in case anyone from top order is unable to play.
Brad Haddin will probably be playing his last Ashes series this season. His wicket keeping wasn't bat on English tour but he needs to do more with the bat, specially after not to good showing on Indian tour.
Aussies will take heart from a potent pace attack they've identified for this series. Ryan Harris is bowling as well as he's ever done and then Peter Siddle is dependable as always. Then, he's Mitchell Johnson, back for his 3rd Ashes series after missing the last one. Johnson will thank IPL for re-discovering his in-swing to the right handers and he's bowling quickly as well. He certainly is one name visitors will be tensed about. James Faulkner has been selected as the back-up, specially when Shane Watson is also there to complete the pace quartet.
Nathan Lyon continues to be the first choice spinner but it may not be long before selectors throw a debut chance for Fawad Ahmed who's certainly someone who can run through an opposition. Steve Smith also has some talent as leg spinner but somehow captains don't give him enough number of overs.