perhaps macgill or warne may be better suited to test cricket than lyon as well?
Ponting to come out of retirement for the England tour. It was the plan all along. Hussey tells him in advance of his impending retirement. Ponting responds with a preemptive fake retirement to let the nation mourn his departure first. Hussey retires for good, setting up a team-in-crisis scenario. Ponting makes his triumphant return at Trent Bridge, winning back the hearts of the nation. Makes a duck, retires again.
PEWS coming out firing.
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As others have said, he's hardly in the sort of form that makes him a likely pick at present.
Is Andrew McDonald playing currently? If Watson gives up bowling to concentrate on batting at 2 or 4, then Wade / Haddin at 6 with McDonald at 7, and two of Johnson/Starc/Pattinson at 8 and 9 might be a possibility?
Alternatively... Steve Smith.
Going to be very interesting to see what our top 6 is going into the Ashes. I suppose Khawaja will probably just slot straight in at 6 to replace Huss. Would certainly not be opposed to him batting 4 though with Watson assuming the Hussey role at 6.
Watson quits bowling and returns to the opening position where his game is arguably most suited and Warner drops down to batting at 6.
Steve Smith bats at 6, I love that guy.
How's Rogers going atm?
If the selectors ignored his birth certificate (and personality, by repute) or Cosgrove's waistline there's two serious options right there...
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"I don't think that they'll come close to us to be honest."
- Steve Smith before the Ashes
My early predictions:
England 2-1 for the home series, Australia 2-1 for the away series. Yeah yeah it's a copout but meh.
I for one feel the gap between Australia and England's batting is smaller than most people expect. Yes England's batting is more experienced, but Trott and Bell are unproven against stronger attacks, and even Cook has lacked effectiveness in England from time to time. KP of course is good, but even he's only really good for one big century. And Compton or Root or whoever they pick are still very inexperienced. Leaves Prior, who while is gun has to bat 7.
Australia's problems are well-known of course - Hussey won't be there, Watson has injury problems and is out of form, Warner's very much hit and miss and sometimes lacks concentration, Cowan just isn't that good, Hughes is still untested, Wade while he looks good with the bat his place might come under question due to his poor keeping and Khawaja has large technical flaws that aren't really fixed yet. Clarke of course is gun.
England probably have the edge in bowling due to better match-winners, but even so....Broad has been pretty poor recently, Swanneh has lacked effectiveness against the stronger lineups (although he should still bowl a side to victory on a turner) and there's still questions over the third quick (though I think Finn/Onions should be fine). Australia's main problem is what to do with Johnson, Lyon's problems with running through a lineup when time is a premium and all their quicks breaking down.
All in all, should be a good series. England are better ATM but they're both really good sides, and it should be great cricket.
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Lyon will be dropped for Maxwell and a four man pace attack by the Ashes...
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