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Ashes 2013-14: Australia rest Clarke, Siddle and Harris ahead of opener

Michael Clarke: Rested by Australia

Australia skipper Michael Clarke and fast bowlers Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle will skip next week's Sheffield Shield matches ahead of the Ashes opener.

Skipper Michael Clarke and fast bowlers Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle will skip next week's Sheffield Shield matches ahead of the Ashes opener against England.

"We're very pleased with Michael Clarke's preparation ahead of the first Test."

Darren Lehmann

The trio will prepare instead at Cricket Australia's new high performance facility in Brisbane and will not be risked in a four-day Shield game with the first Test starting on November 21.

Clarke made a successful return to action in the Sheffield Shield after his much-publicised back problems.

The policy of resting the fast bowlers has however caused controversy in Australia, with former Test stars Glenn McGrath and Geoff Lawson amongst those saying they need to bowl.

But national team coach Darren Lehmann has backed CA's moves, saying it was sensible to take a cautious approach ahead of the five-Test series.

Very pleased

"We're very pleased with Michael Clarke's preparation ahead of the first Test," Lehmann said.

"The plan for his Ashes build-up was to play two Sheffield Shield matches, which he has done successfully. He has spent valuable time in the middle batting and fielding.

"Importantly his back has coped well in both matches, but we will continue to take a sensible and cautious approach to managing him."

Lehmann said Harris and Siddle, expected to share the new ball when the Australian squad is announced on Tuesday for the opening Test, were also in good shape.

"On the fast bowling front, Ryan and Peter are both in great condition," he said.

"As part of their management plan they will continue their preparation under the guidance of national coaching staff in Brisbane over the coming days."

Who should open the batting with Chris Rogers for Australia in the Ashes opener in Brisbane?

  • Ed Cowan
  • Aaron Finch
  • Michael Klinger
  • Shaun Marsh
  • David Warner
  • Other