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Rogers to open with Watson

Veteran Australia batsman Chris Rogers will open the batting alongside Shane Watson in the first Investec Ashes Test, new coach Darren Lehmann has confirmed.

Lehmann, who replaced Mickey Arthur in a hasty reshuffle by Cricket Australia a week ago, had already confirmed that Watson would be returning to the top of the order and today named Rogers as his partner.

At the age of 35, Rogers has just one Test cap to his name, scoring 15 and four against India in 2008.

Rogers' advanced years do not seem to concern Lehmann, who told Sky Sports News today: "You can always improve, whatever age you are.

"That's what we want to do, learn and get better, and if we can keep doing that on and off the ground we'll be fine."

Lehmann has made five changes for Australia’s final pre-Ashes tour match, a four-day game versus Worcestershire from tomorrow, bringing in Rogers for Usman Khawaja as well as replacing Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc with Jackson Bird, Ryan Harris, Ashton Agar and Steven Smith.

The side is once again led by captain Michael Clarke, a positive sign for Australia after his worrying back injuries earlier this summer.

The others who keep their places are wicketkeeper and vice-captain Brad Haddin, batsmen Ed Cowan, Phil Hughes and Watson plus all-rounder James Faulkner.

The only touring players who have not been picked for one of the tour games are David Warner, who is suspended until the first Test, and back-up gloveman Matthew Wade.

While Lehmann has confirmed his top two batsmen, he revealed there was still some room for players to force their way into his first XI this week.

"There's not many (question marks) now, we're pretty comfortable with it," he added.

"We're pretty close. It's one or two (places) and we'll work those out over the next four or five days.

"We'll make sure everyone gets the best chance to forward for selection for the first Test."

Lehmann accepts that England will start the series as favourites after a troubled run of form for Australia under Arthur, but his assessment came with a sting in the tail.

"We deserve to be underdogs to be fair," he said.

"England have been pretty good for a long period of time. We have to play our best, we know that, but it'll be a tighter series than everyone thinks, I reckon."

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