Rogers In Australia Ashes Squad, Haddin Vice-Captain
Australia have named opener Chris Rogers in their 16-man Ashes squad and installed wicket-keeper Brad Haddin as Michael Clarke's vice-captain.
35-year-old Rogers played a solitary Test in 2008 but adds experience of English conditions to a squad that is largely inexperienced at international level - only captain Michael Clarke has played more than 44 Tests.
Haddin replaces Shane Watson as vice-captain, after Watson stood down earlier this month and will compete for wicket-keeping duties with Matthew Wade.
All-rounder James Faulkner is the only uncapped player in the squad. Fast bowlers Jackson Bird, Ryan Harris, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc are joined by spinner Nathan Lyon as Australia bid to regain the Ashes they last held in 2006/7.
England won the 2009 series 2-1 before a 3-1 success in 2010/11.
National Selection Panel (NSP) Chair John Inverarity said: "There is no bigger series or rivalry in world cricket than the Ashes and the NSP has picked a squad of 16 that will give us the best possible chance of winning in English conditions.
"We are under no illusion that this is going to be a huge challenge and we certainly go into it as underdogs with England playing very good cricket with an experienced and settled team that plays well at home.
"In saying that, this squad will be very competitive and fight hard every inch of the way. We have high expectations of this team and if they play to their potential we feel we can mount a very strong challenge."
On the new and returning faces in the side, Inverarity added:
"Chris Rogers is a hardened first-class cricketer and has been given a deserved opportunity on the back of sustained run-scoring in both Australia and England over many seasons. He has vast experience in the UK and has performed outstandingly well over there; during the past four seasons in England, between 2009 and 2012, he has scored more than 5,000 first-class runs at an average of 52.3, including 17 centuries and 21 fifties.
"James Faulkner has also been given an opportunity after impressing in recent months as an all-rounder. His performance in last month’s Bupa Sheffield Shield Final was compelling and he has now produced three consistently good seasons with the ball at Shield level for Tasmania. He is a player who is seldom out of the game for long. He takes wickets, forms partnerships and makes valuable runs.
"Ryan Harris has regained fitness and it is great to have such a very highly regarded and well-performed pace bowler back in the mix.
"Nathan Lyon is the only spin bowler selected but we will be keeping a close eye on others in case another spinner is required. We’ll have approximately 30 players in England at the start of the northern summer and the NSP can add to the Ashes squad at any stage if the need arises."
While Haddin will act as vice-captain to Clarke, he has also been named as captain of the 'A' team which is touring the British Isles in June, playing Ireland, Scotland and Gloucestershire in three-day games.
Vice-captain Steve Smith, Bird, Harris, Moises Henriques, Khawaja, Lyon, Pattinson and Siddle are the other players in the 'A' squad with international experience.
The first Ashes Test begins on 10th July at Trent Bridge, before which Australia play Somerset and Worcestershire in warm-ups beginning on 26th June and 2nd July respectively.
Australia Ashes squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Brad Haddin (vice-captain), Jackson Bird, Ed Cowan, James Faulkner, Ryan Harris, Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson
Australia 'A' squad: Brad Haddin (captain), Steve Smith (vice-captain), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Ryan Harris, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, James Pattinson, Chadd Sayers, Peter Siddle, Jordan Silk
© Cricket World 2013
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