Aussies likely to be unchanged

2014-01-02 10:40
Michael Clarke (Getty)

Sydney - Australia's Ryan Harris and Shane Watson both bowled without apparent discomfort in the nets at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday and captain Michael Clarke expects to lead the same team out for a fifth successive Test on Friday.

Australia have completely dominated the series to take a 4-0 lead and only fitness and a tactical decision to bring in bowling all-rounder James Faulkner to exploit a green-tinged SCG wicket were likely to lead to changes in the team.

All-rounder Watson was the biggest concern after a groin strain restricted his bowling in the fourth Test in Melbourne but he and paceman Harris, whose right knee is a perennial concern, looked to be holding nothing back on Thursday.

Clarke, who is no longer a selector, said he thought spin-bowling would still play its traditional role in the last couple of days of the Sydney Test and said there would be no sentiment in the decision over whether to retain the same team.

"I think it would be extremely romantic but I think you've got to pick the best 11 players to help you have success in the conditions you're playing," he said.

"If conditions turn out to be similar to what they have been in the past four Test matches then I think the selectors will go that way but I think we certainly need to pick our best team to win this Test match.

"I don't have any idea of the team at this stage, I think we're waiting to see how the guys pull up tomorrow morning.

"But everybody's out in the nets batting and bowling so look I'm really confident guys will pull up fit but we need to give them every chance and see how they wake up in the morning."

Clarke endured four Ashes defeats and, before this series, his only taste of success was the 2006-7 series in Australia which ended up as a 5-0 sweep to the hosts.

The 32-year-old said he would have no need to talk to his team-mates, none of whom had tasted Ashes success before this series, about the importance of repeating the feat.

"I think that desire burns within every single player in the changing room," he said.

"I said that before Melbourne and I think we showed with the way we played at the MCG and this test is no different, it's just as important.

"We want to continue to run with the momentum we have at the moment and continue playing good cricket and getting the results we've been getting."

Read more on:    australia  |  ashes  |  michael clarke  |  cricket


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Previous Results

Date Match Result

Who will win the 2019 edition of the Ashes?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.