Manchester - Australia captain Michael Clarke won the toss and elected to bat
against England in the third Ashes Test at Manchester's Old Trafford
ground on Thursday.
England were unchanged from the side that won
the second Test at Lord's by a mammoth 347 runs to give the
Ashes-holders a 2-0 lead in the five-match series after star batsman
Kevin Pietersen was passed fit following a calf strain.
who must win this match to have any chance of regaining the Ashes this
series -- a 2-2 draw would see England retain the urn -- made three
David Warner, who missed the first two Tests after being
banned in the run-up to the Ashes for punching England's Joe Root in a
Birmingham bar following a Champions Trophy match in June, returned in
place of fellow batsman Phil Hughes after making 193 for Australia A
against South Africa A in Pretoria last week.
Warner, who has
opened in Tests, was listed to come in at number six with Australia
appearing to keep faith with the opening duo of Shane Watson and Chris
Left-arm quick Mitchell Starc came in after James
Pattinson suffered a tour ending back injury at Lord's and off-spinner
Nathan Lyon replaced teenage slow left-armer Ashton Agar, who went
wicketless in the second Test.
Australia all-rounder Steven Smith was passed fit following a back problem.
Old Trafford's reputation for taking turn, both teams opted for just
the one specialist spinner with Monty Panesar left out of England's XI
from a 14-man squad.
Victory for England will see them retain the
Ashes. They last won the first three Tests of an Ashes series in
Australia in 1928/29.
Australia, following their 4-0 series defeat
in India earlier this year, have lost six Tests in a row - their worst
run of Test results since 1984.
They last lost seven successive
Tests between 1885-88, a run that included the only time Australia have
been whitewashed in the Ashes -- a 3-0 defeat in England in 1886.
was the first Ashes Test staged at Old Trafford since 2005 with the
ground having undergone a 45 million ($68 million) redevelopment which
has included turning the square to face north-south instead of
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Joe Root, Jonathan
Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (wkt), Tim
Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson
Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke (captain), Steven
Smith, David Warner, Brad Haddin (wkt), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc,
Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon
Umpires: Marais Erasmus (RSA), Tony Hill (NZL)
TV umpire: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)