Sydney: The premature unveiling of the Australian squad for the Ashes has given England a free kick and a head-start to prepare their pitches and players accordingly, according to Australian cricket sources.
According to Cricket Australia (CA) sources, there is a widespread fear that the Ashes squad announcement has revealed Australia`s hand to England much before the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, starting on July 10.
It is particularly concerning that England knows so far ahead that Australia, with five frontline fast bowlers along with all-rounder James Faulkner, will have Nathan Lyon as the only specialist spinner.
This fact will give England an early head-start to potentially doctor Ashes pitches to suit spin and negate pace, especially if the team has Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar as dual spin weapons, adding that the fact that they will probably not announce their first Test squad until the weekend before the series opener gives them an added advantage.
However, the report said that the contrary view is that Australian selectors had already picked their squad so it was logical to announce it to give their players the longest possible physical and mental Ashes preparation.
The make-up of Australia`s Ashes squad - with the surprise addition of 35-year-old batsman Chris Rogers and the elevation of another 35-year-old Brad Haddin to vice-captain was an overdue concession that their plans were not working, the report added.