Australia squad - npower Ashes 2009

npower Ashes Series 2009

Ricky Ponting promo

Ricky Ponting (captain)

Arguably the finest number three in world cricket, Ponting has a superb Test average of 56 and will be expected to lead from the front with the bat. Has won 38 of his 56 Tests as captain but the one blot on his CV is the 2005 defeat in England - something he will be keen to address on what is almost certain to be his last Ashes tour at the helm.

Simon Katich

Katich suffered heavily at the hands of England's pacemen during the 2005 Ashes and lost his Test place soon after. However, he has seized another chance, this time as an opener, with five hundreds since his recall a year ago.

Phillip Hughes

The 20-year-old left-handed opener is one of the most talked about young players in international cricket. Made a four-ball duck on Test debut against South Africa but bounced back with two centuries in the next match to confirm his rare talent. Was prolific in an early-season stint with Middlesex.

Mike Hussey

Surprisingly overlooked for the 2005 series but has been a permanent fixture in all forms for Australia since. Following an extraordinary start to life in international cricket, Hussey has suffered a dip in form of late and will be eager to prove he still has plenty to offer.

Michael Clarke promo

Michael Clarke

One of only four players in the Australia squad to have played in the last Ashes series in England, Clarke is an elegant strokemaker who also provides a handy spin option. The changing of the guard is evident in his elevation to vice-captain, and the fact he is now a senior player - one whose performances will be key to the tourists' chances this summer.

Shane Watson

A series of injuries have severely hampered the career of the 28-year-old all-rounder, but there can be no doubting his talent with bat and ball. Preferred to Andrew Symonds, Australia will hope Watson can put his fitness problems behind him to play a major role this summer.

Andrew McDonald

Flame-haired, medium-pace all-rounder was something of a surprise selection when he made his Test bow against South Africa earlier this year.

Marcus North

Left-hander who has ability as an off-spinner, he took his opportunity gleefully earlier this year with a debut Test hundred at the Wanderers. North has vast experience of English conditions having represented five counties so far in his career.

Brad Haddin promo

Brad Haddin

Cut from similar cloth to predecessor Adam Gilchrist in the way he plays the game but has just one hundred to date, which means his record is yet to stand up to the man he was understudy to during the 2005 tour. At the age of 31, Haddin will be determined to make the most of his first Ashes opportunity, having waited patiently in the wings for several years.

Graham Manou

Dropped by South Australia just two years ago, Manou has made a stunning return to action, even taking the state's captaincy in his stride, and hit two hundreds during the most recent Australian season.

Brett Lee

His anguished face, bent double on the Edgbaston pitch as Andrew Flintoff acknowledged his efforts four years ago, is one of sport's most iconic images and the fast bowler will hope to lead the tourists' attack in 2009 following his comeback from major ankle surgery.

Mitchell Johnson

Left-arm paceman who has 47 wickets in his last eight Tests, his surge in productivity coinciding with discovering how to angle the ball back in to right-handers. Johnson can also be considered a genuine all-rounder following recent unbeaten scores of 96 and 123 against South Africa.

Stuart Clark promo

Stuart Clark

Another of the Australian pace bowlers returning from a injury lay-off, England's tormentor of 2006-07 was selected for the tour despite not having taken part in first-class action since December 1, such is his impressive Test average of four wickets per appearance. Clark has previous experience of English conditions following spells with Middlesex and Hampshire.

Peter Siddle

Reminiscent of former Australia quick Craig McDermott in physique and approach to the crease, he grew up in rural Victoria and was a competitive woodchopper as a teenager - a pastime to which his great strength has been attributed.

Ben Hilfenhaus

A former Tasmanian bricklayer who was chosen for the recent tour of South Africa due to his ability to swing the ball at pace. He managed only seven wickets in three appearances there but was part of a side which won the series 2-1.

Nathan Hauritz

Took five wickets on Test debut in India in 2004 but has endured plenty of ups and downs since, struggling to make first-class appearances for Queensland and New South Wales, until a change in fortunes culminated in him being the sole spinner chosen for this tour.

Tim Paine

A promising wicketkeeper-batsman who opens for state side Tasmania. The 24-year-old excelled on Australia A’s tour of Pakistan and was subsequently included in the senior squad for the NatWest Series.

Paine was added to the squad for the final week of the Test tour as cover for the injured Manou.

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