England have announced their 17-man touring party for this winter’s Ashes series, and there have been one or two surprise call-ups.
Alastair Cook and Joe Root have been selected as expected, and will almost certainly open the batting at Brisbane. The selectors have chosen Michael Carberry as the back-up opener ahead of Nick Compton. Carberry’s form in the County Championship has not been great, but Compton shot himself in the foot when he criticised the selectors for dropping him after the New Zealand series, and his Test career looks to be over despite scoring 889 runs in this year’s County Championship so far.
After the main event of the summer, there was always a danger that the one-day series was going to be a damp squib and so it proved, with two games washed out by rain. After the first match at Headingley was washed out, Australia comfortably won at Old Trafford. Michael Clarke scored a century as the tourists racked up 315, which England never looked like challenging, slipping to an 88-run defeat. Only 15.1 overs of play were possible at Edgbaston before England levelled the series with a tense three-wicket win at Cardiff. Having bowled Australia out for 227, Clint McKay took a hat-trick to reduce England to 8-3, but half-centuries from Michael Carberry, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler saw the home side to victory. Australia easily won the decider, scoring 298 including 143 from Shane Watson before bowling England out for 249.