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Ashes 5th Test - Who will make the Australia playing XI for the Oval Test?

Suneer Chowdhary 11 Aug 2015
  • Who will line up for Australia in the fifth test?
  • Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers will be playing in their final tests
Australian captain Michael Clarke talks with head coach Darren Lehmann but who will they pick?

With changes on the cards, what will the Australian side for the fifth Ashes test look like?

With Australia conceding the 2015 Ashes in the fourth Test and Michael Clarke announcing his retirement from Test match cricket, who will line up for the final game of the series?

Australia had gone into the Ashes as favourites to retain it after their 5-0 thrashing of England at home but the manner in which they have caved in in these last two Tests will be a cause for concern. Their inability to face up to some good swing bowling has been badly exposed and Australia will need to dig deep into their reserves to come up with some answers.

For the time being, that's for the fifth Test match, there's enough indicator to suggest Shaun Marsh's place in the Aussie side is in danger. Marsh made scores of 0 and 2 and was out in similar manner - nicking an away-swinger to the slips - in both his innings. 

What makes his place untenable is coach Darren Lehmann's assertion that the selectors, including himself, erred in not backing an all-rounder at the number six position.

What this could imply is that Mitchell Marsh could be back into the line-up while his brother Shaun will miss out after those twin-failures. 

There are other places to consider but for now it looks like the top four seems sealed. David Warner has batted well enough to retain his spot in the side, Chris Rogers has been Australia's batsman of the series and will be featuring in his last Test before retiring to make up the opening slot. Steven Smith will bat three while Clarke's final Test could see him being pushed back to four.

Adam Voges had had a run of games in which he struggled to get going before finally scoring a fighting 50 in a lost cause at six at Trent Bridge. 

Whether or not that 50 keeps him in the side remains to be seen but his potential replacements are Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh, which doesn't make too much sense anyway given their own form issues. At least Voges has experienced the conditions and found a way to score that half-century.

The other question surrounds the bowling attack.

The presence of Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc together in the same line-up has been a cause for concern for the Aussies in this series given their inability to bowl one side of the wicket. Johnson doesn't swing the ball and on these pitches he hasn't been as effective as he was back home. Starc's control of swing has been iffy but he also showed what he can do when he gets that control back.

Josh Hazlewood was expected to lead the attack like Glenn McGrath but his lack of experience playing in such a long series seems to have been a problem. Exhaustion because of bowling long spells seems to be an issue and his waywardness has only added to Australia's woes.

There's Pat Cummins and Peter Siddle waiting in the ranks but can either make it to the XI. Cummins will offer a lot of speed but suffers, on occasions, from the same issue of control. Siddle can afford control but his lack of speed and penetration has been telling. 

All of this makes for a tough choice as far as the Aussie bowling is concerned, and it might boil down to the selectors selecting the same attack for The Oval Test.


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