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Aussies unchanged for Adelaide: Smith

Test captain confirms same XI that thumped England in Ashes-opener will play second Test

Steve Smith today confirmed Australia would field an unchanged XI for the second Magellan Ashes Test in Adelaide.

The only concern for the Australians was the fitness of their three stellar fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, but after successfully completing yesterday's practice session without a worry the trio will line up together again at the Adelaide Oval from tomorrow afternoon.

South Australia swing bowler Chadd Sayers will fly to Cairns today to link up with his West End Redbacks teammates for their JLT Sheffield Shield clash against the myFootDr Queensland Bulls starting Sunday, while reserve quick Jackson Bird will join Tasmania for their Hobart clash with New South Wales if there is no complication between now and the toss.

Bird stayed with the Australians until the start of play in Brisbane before he was inserted into Tasmania's Shield match in Adelaide, where he took eight wickets in the Tigers' first win of the summer.

Captain Smith, alongside head coach Darren Lehmann and assistants Brad Haddin and David Saker, inspected the Adelaide Oval wicket today and said it appears to be a hybrid of the pitches seen previously at the venue.

"It looks like a bit harder than we've probably seen it for a while for a pink-ball game," Smith said. "It looks like there is slightly less grass. I'd say it's somewhere between an old Adelaide wicket and the newer wicket we've seen over the last couple of years. I think not as much sideways movement.

"There will still be good pace in the wicket but I think it looks a pretty good wicket."

After hammering England by 10 wickets in the first Test at the Gabba, Australia enter the twilight Test full of confidence with a deeper understanding of day-night Test cricket than their rivals.

Australia have played three pink-ball Tests to England's one, and while both teams are undefeated under floodlights, the hosts boast additional first-class matches against the luminescent Kookaburra ball.

Middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb made a half-century on debut in the day-nighter in Adelaide last summer and says Australia's vast experience in day-night cricket gives the hosts an extra edge.

"We've played with the pink Kookaburra ball for a long time and we've seen it change over the time and understand what it does do, especially here in Adelaide playing a few games," Handscomb said yesterday.

"It is a good advantage for us and England haven't played many games or trained much against the pink 'Kooka'.

"It's a different ball game for them."

Handscomb helps himself to a debut half-century

With a one-nil series lead and an imposing record in day-night Test cricket, Handscomb said the Australians are focusing solely on this match and are not getting too far ahead of themselves with talks of a series whitewash in the air after their strong start to the Ashes.

"I suppose complacency can set in but that's something we are obviously going to not try and do," Handscomb said.

"We understand we have had a good game in Brisbane, but that's gone now it's completely different conditions as well, being a day-night Test, pink ball.

"But we have got to make sure we do things right by our own team and play our own game."

2017-18 International Fixtures

Magellan Ashes Series

Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers.

England Test squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson (vc), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.

First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard

Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Tickets

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Tickets

Gillette ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets

Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21