Apr 232013

Australia will name a 16-man squad on Wednesday for the summer’s Ashes series in England, which starts on 10 July.

Veteran Brad Haddin has been tipped as Michael Clarke’s vice-captain after Shane Watson relinquished the post.

Watson was one of four players dropped during the tour of India for a breach of discipline, but is likely to continue in the all-rounder role.

Only five players with experience of Ashes Tests in England played in the India series, which Australia lost 4-0.

26-29 June: v Somerset

2-5 July: v Worcs

10-14 July: 1ST TEST, Trent Bridge

18-22 July: 2ND TEST, Lord’s

26-28 July: v Sussex

1-5 August: 3RD TEST, Old Trafford

9-13 August: 4TH TEST, Durham

16-17 August: v Northants

21-25 August: 5TH TEST, The Oval

Wicketkeeper Haddin was replaced by Matthew Wade for last year’s home series against South Africa, which the tourists won 1-0 courtesy of a 309-run victory in the final Test in Perth.

The 35-year-old, who averages 35 with the bat in his 44 Tests, returned to the team for the third Test in India after Wade was injured, but lost his place again for the final match of the series.

Wade, 25, who has played 12 Tests, scoring two centuries with an average of 34, is likely to be included as a reserve keeper but could play solely as a batsman.

Left-hander Shaun Marsh, 29, who played the last of his seven Tests in January 2012, has also been touted for a place in the touring party.

Having lost the first two Tests in India, Australia coach Mickey Arthur asked each member of his squad to produce, by email or in person, three ideas about how the team could improve but Watson, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja and James Pattinson failed to respond and were dropped for the third Test.

Watson, 31, returned home to consider his international future but flew back to India, where he captained the side in the final match in the absence of the injured Clarke.

Regular skipper Clarke is expected to be fit for the Ashes after last month it was revealed he would miss up to 10 weeks with a recurrence of a back problem.

Australia, who have lost the last two Ashes series, are fourth in the Test rankings.

Since England won the most recent series between the two old adversaries in 2011, their first in Australia since 1986-87, the Australians have played 24 Tests, winning 12, losing seven and drawing five.

An Australia A squad will also tour the British Isles this summer and that will also be announced on Wednesday.

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