Former captain speaks out about what he thinks the make-up of the side should be.
Australian great Allan Border has given a wide-ranging interview speaking about all aspects of the national side set to be revealed on Tuesday ahead of the first Test on November 21.
There are plenty of questions left to be answered as to the final 11 players who will attempt to wrest the Ashes from the grasp of Alastair Cook and the England side.
George Bailey, Jams Faulkner, Shane Watson and Fawad Ahmed are just some of the names mentioned as being included in the final squad.
Border said his “heart would be in his mouth” for the game if selectors threw Faulkner into the side, despite impressing during the team’s recent tour in India.
“I like what Faulkner is doing at the moment, all be it one-day cricket,” Border said.
“It’s worked in the past that blokes have come through one-day cricket and done well at Test level for us.”
The former number three batsman said the stats don’t point in Faulkner’s favour either, saying he does not average more than 30 at First Class level and does not have a ton to his name.
“The stats are killing us,” said Border.
“We’re under the pump. We’ve lost three straight Ashes series. Do we keep losing just to try and find the right combination?”
Border said he was concerned for the mental toughness of Watson after another, seemingly soft in his eyes, hamstring injury.
But the former skipper believed Mitchell Johnson has done enough to earn his place in the Test side saying he could be the X-factor to turn the tide in Australia’s favour.
“He’s shown signs during the one-day series (in India) he’s ready to rock and roll again,” he said.
“He’s worked on his action, his pace is back, and I like that option. We’ve got the two Steady Eddies in Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris.
“Let’s go for broke and have someone who can bust some heads and make it uncomfortable out there.”
As for who should be the Aussies front-line spinner, Border says selectors should show faith in off-spinner Nathan Lyon and take a wait and see approach with leggie Fawad Ahmed.
Allan Border’s XI for first Test against England on November 21
Michael Clarke (c)
12th James Faulkner