The Ashes 2009 (49 days)
49 Days before the start of the 2009 Ashes Series...
The full Australian Ashes Tour squad was announced last night.
R Ponting (c), M Clarke (vc), S Clark, B Haddin, N Hauritz, B Hilfenhaus, P Hughes, M Hussey, M Johnson, S Katich, B Lee, G Manou, A McDonald, M North, P Siddle, S Watson.
With the likely line-up as of today being:
R Ponting (c)
M Clarke (vc)
My thoughts would be that they will insert Brett Lee into the line-up if he is anywhere near 100% purely because of his previous Ashes experience. In a squad with 11 players making their Ashes tour debuts that will be a precious commodity, plus he will install that fear in the England players remembering what he did to them in 2006/07.
The surprising omission from the Australian team is Andrew Symonds, a key player for them over the past few years. Symonds behaviour draws similarities with some of the other big names of Ashes past. Warne and Flintoff are known to have strayed off the beaten track and now Symonds, after a bust up with vice captain Clarke and missing a team meeting for a fishing trip, is feeling the repercusions. I think it's a shame because not only is he an exciting player to watch on the field, there is never a dull moment with him around. Who can forget the dropped shoulder on that streaker...
I think not having Andrew Symonds in the Ashes is a big loss for the Aussies and the viewers. Now if Flintoff can get fit and back to some form with both the bat and the ball, it would be England 1 up in the All-rounder department.