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Ashes 2010: England bowlers to miss final Ashes warm-up

England bowler Stuart Broad
Broad took six wickets in the first two warm-up matches

England are sending their four first-choice bowlers straight to first Test venue Brisbane rather than playing them in the last Ashes warm-up game.

Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Graeme Swann and Steven Finn will leave Hobart rather than play in Wednesday's four-day match against Australia A.

It will allow them to acclimatise for the first Test on 25 November.

Chris Tremlett, Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad and Monty Panesar will make up England's attack for the game.

England coach Andy Flower confirmed the first-choice quartet would probably fly north with bowling coach David Saker on the evening of the first day of the match against Australia A.

Flower said: "The reasoning is that conditions in Hobart are very different to the ones in Brisbane, and we want to give that group of bowlers a little head start.

"They are going three days earlier than the rest of us, and it will also give an opportunity to the other group of bowlers to put their names forward and perform well against Australia A."

England have appeared keen on this course of action for the past month but have been cautious about confirming it until now.

Each of the four bowlers has fared well in the two warm-up matches so far, although a rainy final day in Adelaide limited their opportunity for extra competitive overs.

"It was great that they performed well in those two games," added Flower. "They've had a lot of bowling into them so far; they've bowled very well.

"They're quite comfortable where they are individually, so they'll be across there early and ready for that first session of the first Test.

"Bresnan, Shahzad, Tremlett and Panesar haven't had a chance in the middle yet, so they should be desperate to get out there and prove themselves.

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"Without a doubt, I would say, one or two of those guys are going to be playing Test cricket in the next couple of months, so it's a very real opportunity for them to put their names forward."

Broad is confident the early-arrival strategy will work for him and his fellow bowlers.

"We've had two fantastic games as a bowling group together. Now it's all about preparation for that first Test match - and I see going up to Brisbane early as a great opportunity to get used to conditions," stated Broad.

"We're full of confidence as a bowling unit. It's all about mental and physical preparation for the first Test match now."

With all four back-up bowlers due to play, England's other selection options are limited - but Eoin Morgan may be given his first opportunity of the tour if they choose to rest a batsman.

Meanwhile, Australia A have brought in bowler Clint McKay to replace injured Mitchell Starc for the game in Hobart.

They had already lost batsman Shaun Marsh to injury, and he has been replaced by Ed Cowan.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said: "Clint has been a regular member around Australia's limited-overs squads for some time and he will be looking forward to this challenge."

England have made an unbeaten start to their tour.

They beat Western Australia by six wickets in their opening match, before drawing their second game against South Australia.


Listen to the Ashes live on Test Match Special on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and online (UK users only) - series starts 25 November 2010. Archive: Relive past Ashes series



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see also
Monday's Ashes gossip column
15 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Jonathan Agnew column
15 Nov 10 |  England
Australia selectors drop Hauritz
20 Nov 10 |  Australia
England may rest attack - Strauss
13 Nov 10 |  England
England openers hit tons in draw
13 Nov 10 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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