Australia squad - fifth Ashes Test
Michael Clarke (captain)
Australia's most successful batsman during the 2009 Ashes defeat in England, Clarke is one of the most prized wickets again - especially given his excellent record on home soil: he averages 68.44 in his last seven series. A useful spin bowler, he takes over as captain from the injured Ricky Ponting for the Ashes finale in Sydney.
An aggressive opener with a somewhat unorthodox style, Hughes enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence in 2009, scoring 415 runs in his first three Test appearances before enhancing his reputation with a run-laden stint at Middlesex. The 22-year-old struggled to maintain his form in that summer’s Ashes series and was dropped after two matches, but he remains one of the most promising youngsters in Australian cricket.
Australia's current player of the year, Watson has finally shaken off his persistent injury problems to establish himself as a key member of the Australia side. That he has done so as an opening batsman is unexpected but also testament to his willingness to adapt. He has averaged around 50 since moving to the top of the order, while his seam bowling offers depth to the attack.
The Pakistan-born batsman is relatively raw but was considered worthy of a place in the squad for the neutral Test series against Pakistan in the summer. Previously uncapped at senior level, his first-class average in excess of 50 sees him called up for the Sydney Test in place of the injured Ponting.
The left-hander averaged just 25.45 in seven Tests prior to this series but appears to have returned to his best form at the perfect time, scoring 517 runs in the first three Tests. His appetite for runs - not to mention the big occasion - remains as voracious as ever as he enters the closing years of his career.
Smith is a leg-spinning all-rounder who had been tipped for great things long before he made his international debut in February. His promise with the ball has prompted inevitable comparisons with the great Shane Warne, yet it is Smith’s batting that is probably his strongest suit at this early stage in his career and he currently averages over 40 in first-class cricket.
Brad Haddin (vice-captain, wicketkeeper)
Prior to this series, Haddin had not played a Test since March due to an elbow problem. However, he has been a reliable scorer of runs at number seven and becomes vice-captain for the Sydney Test with Clarke promoted to replace the injured Ponting.
A steady seamer capable of maintaining a disciplined line and length, Hilfenhaus was the most consistent bowler during the 2009 Ashes when he took 22 wickets in just his second series. However, he was left out of the team following the drawn first Test at the Gabba but was recalled at Perth where he put in a reliable display.
The left-armer has admitted he has a point to prove after a hugely disappointing tour of England last summer, when his lack of discipline cost Ricky Ponting control at key times. It is his ability, however, to combine the erratic with the unplayable that makes him a strike bowler to be feared, especially on home soil. Johnson was also omitted for the second Test in Adelaide but returned in style at the WACA with nine wickets.
After making a promising start to his Test career with 60 wickets in 17 matches, Siddle was sidelined by a back injury in January and only returned in the first Test. His aggressive style brought immediate reward at the Gabba as he claimed a hat-trick, although he struggled to build on that until a fine display in Melbourne.
A fiercely competitive left-arm seamer who pinned down a place in the Test side after an impressive Australian summer last year. Though short of express pace, Bollinger is nonetheless capable of hurrying the top players and gains much of his reward from bowling an aggressive line. Having been dropped after an ineffective performance at Adelaide, he is included for Sydney in place of the injured Ryan Harris.
Left-arm spinner Beer was a surprise inclusion in Australia’s third Test squad, having played just seven first-class matches in his career to date. The 26-year-old moved from Victoria to Western Australia during the 2010 off season in search of first-team cricket and the move appears to have paid dividends. He claimed match figures of 5-207 for WA in England’s opening tour match.