Clarke’s ‘attempts’ at mind games show Aussie’s Ashes fears

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After a summer of admirable dignity from Australia’s captain in the face of a heavy Ashes defeat, it appears the Aussie air has had the opposite effect on Michael Clarke as he attempts to throw England off course by confidently naming their potential starting XI for the Gabba.

Perhaps Clarke should have read Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography before attempting to destabilise England’s preparations for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane with some rather desperate tactics.

As the build-up to the Ashes intensifies, the Aussie skipper used the press conference to announce his own squad for the Gabba, but rather than giving Alastair Cook and Andy Flower anything to lose sleep over, it just smacked of desperation.

Clarke bullishly named the entire batting order from 1-11, stating it would be; Carberry, Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Root, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson and Tremlett.

However, this was not exactly revelatory and this is shown by Ladbrokes’ latest special price which deems Clarke’s guesstimated selection, a 4/5 shot to be correct when the actual England team is announced.

Michael Carberry’s performances on the tour so far have widely been taken to have cemented his place alongside Cook, while Tremlett’s impressive wicket-taking Ashes performances in Australia last time, have put him ahead of the out-of-favour Steven Finn in most minds as well.

This is certainly reflected in the current market as Tremlett is deemed a 4/5 shot to play at the Gabba, while Finn is 11/8 to be England’s third seamer and Boyd Rankin remains the big outsider at 6/1.

The rest of the team virtually picks itself, with the only real question mark surrounding Matt Prior’s fitness after he injured a calf in a warm-up game.

Meanwhile, Carberry is deemed a 7/2 shot with Ladbrokes to score a maiden Test hundred if handed his England debut at the Gabba.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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