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Ashes: England set to depart to Australia for Ashes defence

Captain Alastair Cook (L) and the England team celebrate this summer's Ashes victory

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The England squad will depart for Australia on Wednesday for the defence of the Ashes.

Alastair Cook's side are due to play three warm-up games - a three-day match in Perth and two four-dayers in Hobart and Sydney - before the first of five Tests, which begins on November 21 in Brisbane.

England head down under having won the last three Ashes series, including a 3-0 win over Australia this summer.

However, they have not won four successive series against their great rivals since the late 19th century, when England won the first eight Ashes encounters prior to Australia's 2-1 win in 1891/92.

England are also currently unbeaten in 13 Tests, dating back to their defeat to India in Ahmedabad in November 2012.

In contrast, Australia have not won in nine Tests since beating Sri Lanka by five wickets in Sydney in January.

Squad

England will take a 17-man squad to Australia that contains three uncapped players at Test level.

Warwickshire fast bowler Boyd Rankin will be hoping to force his way into the pace attack, while Yorkshire batsman Gary Balance and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes are likely to be competing with Jonny Bairstow for the number six spot.

Three others players are included who did not feature in this summer's victory over Australia: batsman Michael Carberry and bowlers Monty Panesar and Chris Tremlett.

Panesar has 48 Test caps, the last of which was against New Zealand in Auckland earlier this year, while Tremlett, who took 17 wickets in the 2010/11 Ashes series in Australia, has 11 Test caps.

Carberry has one cap to his name, against Bangladesh in 2010.

Yorkshire bowler Tim Bresnan is not included but will fly out with the squad to continue his rehabilitation from a back injury, with a view to playing some part in the series.