England seek a double as Australia eye Ashes history

Friday, 02 Aug, 2019

Australia will certainly be buoyed by the return of the entire "sandpaper three", David Warner and Steve Smith, who were part of their World Cup plans, joined in the national squad by Cameron Bancroft for the first time since their Cape Town shenanigans. "He'll bat number three", Langer said. But, "there is always something that happens between teams in Ashes series and I don't think this will be any different".

"I can't see how you're going to slot him (Siddle) into that side if you want to take the 20 wickets".

Paine is without a Test ton and he averages 35.14, often able to produce some handy lower-order contributions, having made five half-centuries.

But asked if he feels the need to justify his place, he responded: 'No, not at all. I've been put in this team to captain and keep wicket to the best of my ability.

'That's all I can do.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing how his game has developed in the last 12 months", he said.

Ahead of the Edgbaston Test, the Australian head coach Justin Langer has spoken about the predicted Australian playing XI.

Starc, as the side's most aggressive bowler, will reportedly make way to leave room for bowlers such as Hazlewood or Peter Siddle who are known for bowling a more consistent line and length that pays greater dividends in seaming English conditions.

"Reputation counts. Guys have had long, successful careers and we know how good they are", Paine said. I know Jos Buttler is a wonderful one-day player, but I wonder whether he has the technique to score heavily against the pace attack of the Baggy Greens.

He was on his way soon after, though, Broad getting him lbw and, after Warner walked, replays showed he would have had the decision overturned had he reviewed.

A change in perception has been at the centre of his leadership, which has seen the visitors engage in pre-match handshakes with the opposition, and Paine revealed some words of inspiration.

A quote of "behaviour doesn't lie" from the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom may be apocryphal but the message was clear: Australia will not allow old habits to creep in.

'We can talk all we like about how we're going to behave.

"You saw Lord's: it was a bowler's paradise".

AUSTRALIA can expect to attract a few hostile headlines from the British press during the Ashes and the tourists have adopted a simple policy to counter the negativity - don't read all about it.

While no longer the captain, a role from which he is still banned until April 2020, Smith said that he had wanted to play the innings of a senior player in hard circumstances, and was aided enormously by bowlers who have often shared the nets with him over the past couple of weeks committing to extra work to prepare for the challenge of English conditions.

"To have the role taken away was very disappointing and it did hurt", he said.