Cow Corner

England v Australia: Predicted Ashes line-ups compared

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The eagerly-anticipated first Ashes Test between England and Australia gets underway at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, and one team is considerably more settled than the other.

It is often said that cricket is a team game made up of individual contests: between bat and ball, opposite numbers and one-on-one battles. The scrutiny of the two respective line-ups is always relentless and this series is no different.

England's team is fairly settled under the composed captaincy of the talismanic Alastair Cook with only a choice of three pacemen from the five in the 13-man squad to be made by the skipper and Andy Flower.

Australia, in stark contrast, have taken the proverbial sledgehammer to their overall set up ahead of the series, sacking former coach Mickey Arthur, bringing in the charismatic Darren Lehmann and constant shuffling around a group of relatively inexperienced Test players.

It really is anyone's guess who Lehmann will select for Australia's batting line-up, but the new coach's hints about a controversial return for amateur boxer David Warner suggests that there will be one or two big calls made for the tourists.

Warner has been tipped for a return to the side, despite his recent ban, while it is very unclear who will make up the middle order for Australia after Shane Watson and Chris Rogers, with a whole host of players vying for selection around skipper and star batsman Michael Clarke.

Should England pick Steven Finn over Graham Onions and Tim Bresnan, as expected? He may offer less in the batting department than Bresnan, but is Finn's pace and bounce going to be key on the dry Trent Bridge wicket?

We have a comprehensive pre-match preview page full of stats and key information for the first Test match, and as a result have produced a comparison of the two predicted line-ups.

Do you disagree with the two XIs detailed below? Leave your comments at the bottom of the page...

Australia and England's predicted line-ups

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