Chris Rogers returns to the Australian team after five years and just one Test (Image: AAP)

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The two warm-up games in England have created a lot of hope and belief in Australia’s Ashes chances. There have been a lot of teams created by Roarers over the last few days.

This is my team to win back the Ashes.

First off, I have to state that Australia’s Ashes chances are little, but they have improved over the last few days.

My openers to play the first Test are:

Shane Watson – Test average = 35.34 (41 Tests)
Chris Rogers – Test average = 9.50 (1 Test), FC average = 50.38

Darren Lehmann came out and said these two would open the batting in the first Test. This choice was proven to be the right one on Tuesday night with Watson and Rogers putting on 170 for the first wicket against Worcestershire. These two complement each other well. Both have experience in English conditions and have had success there.

My middle order is:

Usman Khawaja – Test average = 29.22 (6 Tests), FC average = 42.27
Michael Clarke – Test average = 52.33 (92 Tests)
Phillip Hughes – Test average = 33.00 (24 Tests)
Steven Smith – Test average = 32.30 (7 Tests), FC AVG = 41.27

Khawaja is a favorite with Roarers and under Lehmann, he will get a good run in the side and will prosper with a bit of stability.

Next in is the backbone of the Australian batting line up and would need a year of straight ducks to get dropped – Phillip Hughes. I am not a big fan of Hughes, but he has impressed in the warm-up games and deserves a spot in the side.

Smith is a different player than the one sent into exile by Australian cricket fans and has matured into a player of Test standard.

My wicketkeeper is:

Brad Haddin – Test average = 35.50 (44 Tests)

Haddin brings a mature brain into the Australian team, and is better behind the stumps than Wade as well.

My bowlers are:

James Pattinson – Test bowling average = 23.37 (10 Tests), FC average = 22.60
Mitchell Starc – Test bowling average = 34.03 (9 Tests), FC average = 31.73
Jackson Bird – Test bowling average = 16.18 (2 Tests), FC average = 19.56
Nathan Lyon – Test bowling average = 33.18

Pattinson is Australia’s best bowler and is probably the first choice while being picked. Starc is the most dangerous of the Australian bowlers, more so in English conditions. Unfortunately, his good bowling is mixed with a lot of rubbish. Starc is young and will only improve, and I think some faith in his bowling is needed.

I wish I could have put Harris in for Starc, but Harris is too much of an injury concern. He could very easily leave us a bowler down in a match. Bird is the bowler who will tie batsman down and draw a false shot. He will be economical and deadly at the same time.

Lyon is the only spinner in the Ashes squad, which makes him an automatic selection. Hopefully, India has affected him positively.

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