Australia Tour of England - Men's
How teams were picked for Aussies' Ashes warm-up
The full details behind the two 12-man teams that are set to square off with Test spots potentially on the line
21 July 2019, 02:59 PM AEST
Details have emerged from the Australian camp's unprecedented draft night last Friday that decided the two sides to compete in the pre-Ashes four-day game in Southampton from Tuesday.
Assistant coaches Brad Haddin and Graeme Hick were named the mentors of the two 12-player teams, with Hick winning a coin toss to pick first.
There were several selection rules set in place for the draft, with the players sorted into categories – opening batsmen, middle-order batsmen, wicketkeepers, fast bowlers and spinners – with an even number of each category in each team.
In addition, Test captain Tim Paine and off-spinner Nathan Lyon had to be in the same team, meaning gloveman Alex Carey and left-arm spinner Jon Holland came effectively as a package deal.
Paine was also one of the two nominated captains, along with Travis Head.
And express fast bowlers Mitch Starc and James Pattinson had to be on opposite sides as part of a four-strong pace attack in each XII.
The only player ineligible for selection was left-hander Usman Khawaja, who continues to recover from his hamstring injury but batted in the nets on Saturday.
So with those rules in place, Hick selected Paine with the first pick in the draft, and in doing so acquired the services of Lyon, while also putting Head, Carey and Holland on the other team.
Haddin then selected world No.1 Test bowler Pat Cummins.
To counter Haddin's pick, Hick chose former No.1 Test batsman Steve Smith with his second selection, while Haddin opted for Josh Hazlewood next.
Pick No.5 was Pattinson, sending Starc to the Haddin XII, which then recruited David Warner with the sixth selection of the night.
From then on, the middle-order batsmen and fast bowlers were divvied up between the Hick XII and Haddin XII, leaving two high-calibre teams to duke it out over four days with Ashes spots and bragging rights on the line.
The two sides trained separately on Saturday at the Ageas Bowl and Carey said he was glad to end up on the side of his wicketkeeping mentor.
"It was something new for the group, a nice way to break the ice too," Carey said.
"Coming into a camp it's exciting. It's a big game of cricket we're about to play and the guys were anxious, excited, all those feelings.
"It was a nice little way to break the ice and find out which teams we're in. Luckily enough I'm with 'Hadds' so I'll stick with my fellow 'keeping coach."
The match is extremely important for two reasons: it is the sole red-ball hit-out for the Ashes squad members who played in the World Cup; and it is set to decide the final places in the Ashes squad, which is to be capped at 16 players.
National selector Trevor Hohns, who was present for the draft and gave his approval of the two teams, said last week "12 or 13" players had been penciled into the squad, with the first-class match against the England Lions and Tuesday's match in Southampton to determine the final spots.
With so much on the line, Test captain Paine is expecting a competitive match between the two quality teams.
"We think it's going to be really, really intense. That's what we're after," Paine said.
"We've got guys playing for Ashes spots so we expect it to be of an extremely high, competitive intensity."
The first Ashes Test starts on August 1 in Birmingham.
Hick XII: Joe Burns, Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (c, wk), Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Chris Tremain, Nathan Lyon
Haddin XII: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Travis Head (c), Marnus Labuschagne, Will Pucovski, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Tour match: Hick XII v Haddin XII, July 23-26
First Test: Edgbaston, August 1-5
Tour match: Australians v Worcestershire, August 7-9
Second Test: Lord's, August 14-18
Third Test: Headingley, August 22-26
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: Old Trafford, September 4-8
Fifth Test: The Oval, September 12-16