Steve Smith, Cowan in squad for first Ashes Test, Warner out

Melbourne: Australian batsman Steve Smith has reportedly been chosen for the middle order batting post ahead of suspended opener David Warner, while Ed Cowan will bat at first drop against England in the first Ashes Test starting on Wednesday.

According to the Courier Mail, Smith, whose innings in the Worcestershire tour game have won over the selectors, will join a batting order that includes Shane Watson and Chris Rogers as openers, while Cowan will bat at No.3, given the nature of the Trent Bridge pitch and his playing experience with Nottinghamshire.

The report further said that Cowan has scored 619 first class runs in England this season, adding that Phillip Hughes looks to have sealed the No. 5 position with captain Michael Clarke to bat at No. 4.

Meanwhile, the report added, fast bowler Peter Siddle appears to have retained his place in the Australian team despite doubts surrounding the bowler after his poor lead-up form. The report further said that Usman Khawaja appears out of contention after missing the Worcester match.


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