Australia to bat in Perth Test

Australia will again bat first in sweltering conditions against England in Perth after captain Michael Clarke won his fourth successive Ashes coin toss.

Veteran paceman Ryan Harris has been passed fit to play. His selection, and the retention of off-spinner Nathan Lyon, means Australia has an unchanged side in three successive Test, its longest streak for 74 Tests and since Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer retired at the end of the 2006-07 Ashes series.

England has made only one change, with Tim Bresnan selected for his first match of the series in place of left-arm spinner Monty Panesar. Off-spinner Graeme Swann has been retained, despite an unflattering record in the first two Tests and the preceding Ashes series in Australia.

Bresnan's selection, after his recovery from stress fractures in his back, has meant England has ignored the three beanpole seamers it included in its squad: Chris Tremlett, Steve Finn and the uncapped Boyd Rankin.

Both captains, Clarke and England's Alastair Cook, are playing in their 100th Test.

While the WACA Ground pitch is expected to suit fast-bowling in the past decade the team that has batted first has won in seven of the 10 occasions. If Australia wins it would officially regain the Ashes from England.


AUSTRALIA: Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (c), Steve Smith, George Bailey, Brad Haddin, Mitch Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon.

ENGLAND: Alastair Cook (c), Michael Carberry, Joe Root, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Ben Stokes, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Jimmy Anderson.

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