Michael Clarke loves making a headline. And ahead of the second Ashes of the year, Australia have started playing the mind games to wrest back the urn from England.
After the 12-man Australian squad was announced for the Ashes down under, skipper Clarke went one step ahead and announced the England XI that’ll be playing in the first Test at Brisbane, saying that Michael Carberry and Chris Tremlett would be included in the squad.
Clarke said that he met Alastair Cook during the Remembrance Day ceremony in Sydney and the England captain gave him the inside details of the team.
“I saw Alastair Cook yesterday at a Remembrance Day ceremony in Sydney and fortunately enough he gave me their team as well for the first Test match so I know he hasn’t announced it yet but I thought this was a good opportunity for me to announce it,” he said.
Clarke then listed out the England XI, saying Cook would be opening with Michael Carberry, followed by the usual suspects Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root and Matt Prior, with the lower order consisting of Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Chris Tremlett.
“Now he (Cook) doesn’t exactly know that yet but I know that’s the eleven that is going to take the field in the first Test so we can start our preparations as of today,” Clarke said.
“I’m very confident that will be the eleven that England will play.
“I know there’s going to be a lot of talk about their tall fast bowlers and playing at the Gabba with plenty of bounce but I’m confident that will be their eleven so I think it’s really important for Darren Lehmann and myself over the next few days to make sure we start preparing for our opposition while a lot of the guys are still playing in this last first class game.”
England haven’t yet announced their squad, and there’re clouds over Matt Prior’s fitness along with who the third pacer is going to be after Anderson and Broad in the squad. But Michael Clarke seems determined to catch England completely unaware in his own den.