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Australia squad - 1st Ashes Test, Brisbane

Michael Clarke (captain)

An inventive captain and one of the game's premier batsmen, Clarke represents the biggest threat in Australia's line-up. Having begun his career in an era of Australian dominance, he carries a similar swagger in the way he approaches the game and is the only truly great performer with the bat in their current line-up, possessing comfortably the best average of 52.

Brad Haddin (wicketkeeper)

A steadying influence behind the stumps and pugnacious batsman, Haddin is no longer at his best but continues to thrive in difficult situations. His 71 in the first Test of the reverse series, which nearly helped Australia chase 311 to win, illustrated his thirst for the big occasion and, what is more, the lack of sideways movement in home conditions should aid his penchant for hitting through the line.

George Bailey

Australia's Twenty20 international skipper and stand-in one-day international leader, Bailey has finally been given a chance in the Test arena. He is a dependable middle-order batsman capable of prospering all round the wicket and headed into the series in the form of his career having struck 478 runs at a stunning average of 95 in a recent 50-over series against India.

James Faulkner

An all-rounder who epitomises the aggressive mentality usually associated with Australians, Faulkner made his bow in the longest form against England in this summer's fifth and final Investec Test, producing a solid display. He is a canny bowler and big-hitting batsman and could bring some further balance to an Australia side featuring a raft of bowling options.

Ryan Harris

One of the finest pacemen in the world when fully fit, the injury-plagued Harris displayed his vast quality in England this summer. He ended as Australia's second-leading wicket-taker with 24 scalps at a stunning average of 19.58, which is three shy of his outstanding career mark. A constant thorn in the hosts' side during the summer, he will be targeting an even better return in home conditions.

Mitchell Johnson

A favourite of English fans, Johnson is back in the Test fold following a stunning return to form in one-day internationals. The left-arm paceman has generally underwhelmed in Ashes contests, yet showed at Perth three years ago - when returning match figures of 9-82 - that he is a true match-winner on his day. Fast and aggressive, the Australia selectors will have been encouraged by his displays in the summer's ODI rubber against England.

Nathan Lyon

Unfortunate to not be chosen for the opening two matches of the series in England, Lyon showed himself to be a steady performer over the last three. He claimed nine wickets in that period, yet was able to maintain good control and should prove a dependable option for the hosts this time round.

Chris Rogers

A revelation during the aforementioned rubber in England, Rogers offered some much-needed stability at the top of Australia's order. The opening encounter at Trent Bridge was only the veteran's second in Tests - it came five years after his first - and yet he was able to strike 367 runs at an average above 40 over the five, including a memorable century at the Emirates Durham ICG.

Peter Siddle

The workhorse in the Australia attack, Siddle showed improved skill and typical determination during the summer. England will be particularly wary of the seamer in the opening encounter at the Gabba, where he claimed a hat-trick three years ago. And what is more, he began the reverse tour with 5-50 at Trent Bridge, illustrating his appetite for making an early impact in cricket's biggest contest.

Steven Smith

A vastly improved batsman if average leg-spinner, Smith headed into the series on something of a high having struck a maiden Test century at the Kia Oval in his last outing. The punchy and powerful middle-order batsman should find home conditions to his liking with the Kookaburra ball famously offering minimal movement once the shine comes off.

David Warner

So often the pantomime villain over the summer, Warner has turned a new page during the Australian season so far. His talent is unquestioned and when he harnesses his natural aggressive instincts, the powerful left-hander can punish any attack. He has certainly been doing that in the domestic game, recently enjoying a run of three List A centuries in four matches - including a stunning 197 - as well as striking 104 and 51 not out in a Sheffield Shield contest.

Shane Watson

As has often been the case in Watson's career, he went into the series with an injury cloud hanging over his head having suffered a hamstring strain in India. He was expected to be fit and, after ending a lean spell in the five-day arena with a century at the Kia Oval in the summer, raring to go. It remained to be seen where he batted, although it was at number three Watson ended a long century drought over the summer.

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