AUSTRALIA captain Michael Clarke has lit the touchpaper ahead of next week’s first Ashes Test by claiming he knows exactly what XI England will send out to play in Brisbane.
Clarke, speaking at Australia’s Ashes launch event, insists Hampshire’s Michael Carberry will open the batting and that Surrey’s Chris Tremlett will take the third fast-bowling slot.
“I saw Alastair at a Remembrance Day ceremony and fortunately enough he gave me their team for the first Test match,” Clarke said.
“I know he hasn’t announced it yet but I thought this was a good opportunity for me to announce it.
“Now he doesn’t exactly know that yet but I know that’s the XI that is going to take the field in the first Test so we can start our preparations as of today. I’m very confident that will be the XI that England will play.”
Question marks remain over the fitness of England wicketkeeper Matt Prior but batsman Kevin Pietersen started the final warm-up match last night in Sydney.
Clarke’s predicted England team
Cook (captain), Carberry, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Root, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Tremlett