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The Ashes: Michael Clarke thinks Australia's first Test team picks itself

Michael Clarke is excited about the Australia team

Australia captain Michael Clarke is in confident mood ahead of the Ashes and thinks the selection of their team for the first Test will prove straightforward.

Clarke is not a selector anymore himself but thinks the likely starters in Brisbane on 21 November are fairly obvious.

"I think there is no doubt there is more stability in our teams," he told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday. "I would imagine the majority of the players have picked themselves

"The exciting thing about where we are at right now is that, whether it be batters or bowlers, individual players have stepped up and performed. We are in a good place.

"I believe if they are going to pick 12 players, I think 11 of them are no brainers."

Michael Clarke

"I believe if they are going to pick 12 players, I think 11 of them are no brainers. We are looking at probably one selection, one spot to work out what our first 11, first 12 is going to be for test number one at the Gabba."


And Clarke says he has not spent any time studying the pre-Ashes form of the tourists.

"I'm really excited about where we sit as a team," he added. "I haven't looked at England at all. I haven't watched a ball they have bowled on this tour so far.

"I've been focused on performing and talking to all my team mates, making sure they are all fully fit and feeling good about the summer. Now we will start to make sure our minds are ready for the first Test."

The Australia squad for Brisbane will be announced on Tuesday and, with Mitchell Starc unavailable, his fellow left-armer Mitchell Johnson is expected to join the fit-again Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle in the seam attack.

Spinner Nathan Lyon is likely to retain his place while Ben Hilfenhaus and Ben Cutting will come into the reckoning if a fourth seamer is selected in the squad.

The Ashes: Round Two

Chris Rogers and David Warner have been scoring runs in domestic cricket and Warner appears to be back in favour after some disciplinary problems.


"Davey is going great, he's as fit and as strong as I've seen him," said Clarke. "He's in a great spot on and off the field, what more can he do?

"He's scored four hundreds in a month, you can't push any harder for selection as a batsman."

Shane Watson is expected to be fit enough to bat at number three, with Clarke at four and Steve Smith at five.

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin will be at number seven, with one-day captain George Bailey favourite to get a Test debut at the vacant number six spot, although Alex Doolan is also a contender.

Watch the Ashes live on Sky Sports this winter, beginning with the opening Test at the Gabba. Coverage begins at 11pm on Sky Sports 2 HD on 20 November.