Clarke retains faith in Test side

Michael Clarke has announced that Australia will name an unchanged side for the second Ashes Test tomorrow.

The Australia captain has not named the same 11 players for successive Tests since facing South Africa at the same ground a year ago.

There were rumours James Faulkner could be included as an extra bowling option, to take the strain off Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson in the first of back-to-back Tests.

But Clarke has retained faith in Twenty20 captain George Bailey, who struggled at Brisbane in his Test debut.

Michael Clarke hones his technique in the nets ahead of the second Ashes TestClarke hopes that a settled side could lead to a prolonged period of form, having seen Australia win their first Test of 2013 with the 381-run victory against England at the Gabba.

Asked what that previous lack of continuity conveys about his side, Clarke said: “It probably says we haven’t performed as well as we’d like, that is for sure.

“If you look at our Test record this year, it’s certainly not something to brag about.

“We have started well in Brisbane. But it’s just a start – we have got a lot of work to do.

“I’m obviously excited by the way we played but if you look at our results over the past 12 months, we have no reason to brag or gloat or be over the top.”

Clarke is expecting England to bounce back from their first defeat in eight Ashes matches.

He added: “We still have the ultimate respect for our opposition.¬†They’re a very tough team, and I think you will see the England team come out bigger and stronger after losing in Brisbane and make it a really tough challenge for us here in Adelaide.

Meanwhile, Australia have unveiled a Perth contingency plan, placing seamers Nathan Coulter-Nile and Doug Bollinger on standby for next week’s third Test.

The uncapped Coulter-Nile and Bollinger, whose last Test was against England in Adelaide three years ago, have therefore been withdrawn from selection for the next round of Sheffield Shield matches.

National selector John Inverarity said: “We hope the fitness and form of current squad members leads to us having the same 12 for the Perth Test.

“However, to ensure we are well prepared, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Doug Bollinger have been placed on standby.”

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