Clarke 'announces' England team

Australian captain Michael Clarke has cheekily pre-empted the England selectors, claiming opposition skipper Alistair Cook has given him the inside running on his team for the opening Ashes test in Brisbane.

According to Clarke, Michael Carberry will open the batting with Cook while right arm quick Chris Tremlett will get the nod over Steven Finn.

Clarke was addressing journalists at Cricket Australia’s international series launch in Brisbane when he made the surprising announcement.

“I saw Alistair Cook yesterday at a Remembrance Day ceremony in Sydney and fortunately enough he gave me their team as well for the first test match so I know he hasn’t announced it yet but I thought this was a good opportunity for me to announce it,” Clarke said.

The captain went on to list the team, claiming Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Joe Root would follow Carberry and Cook in England’s batting line up.

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Following on from wicketkeeper Matt Prior, Clarke suggested Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Chris Tremlett would form England’s bowling attack at the Gabba.

“Now he (Cook) doesn’t exactly know that yet but I know that’s the eleven that is going to take the field in the first test so we can start our preparations as of today,” Clarke said.

“I’m very confident that will be the eleven that England will play.”

“I know there’s going to be a lot of talk about their tall fast bowlers and playing at the Gabba with plenty of bounce but I’m confident that will be their eleven so I think it’s really important for Darren Lehmann and myself over the next few days to make sure we start preparing for our opposition while a lot of the guys are still playing in this last first class game.”