Clarke wins toss, Australia to bat 1st in 3rd test
PERTH, Australia (AP) — Michael Clarke won the toss Friday and elected to bat for the third consecutive time in the series as Australia chased another victory over England to wrap up the Ashes.
Clarke and opposing captain Alastair Cook were each playing their 100th test matches and were presented with special caps before play.
Australia won by 381 runs in Brisbane and 218 runs in Adelaide and retained the same XI for the third test at the WACA ground in Perth, where England’s sole test win was back in 1978.
Tim Bresnan was recalled for his first test since August and replaced spinner Monty Panesar in the only change to the England lineup that lost the second test in Adelaide last Monday. England, which has won the past three Ashes series, needs at least a draw to maintain hopes of retaining the urn.
Australia retained the same XI for the third consecutive match, with Ryan Harris passing fitness tests on his sore knee and spinner Nathan Lyon retaining his place to support the fast bowlers.
Australia’s fast bowlers are expected to get an advantage with the extra pace and bounce of the WACA pitch, one of the fastest in world cricket, but England will get first chance to exploit it and could cause trouble for the Australian batsmen on day one.
The temperature was expected to hit 38 Celsius on Friday and rise to 40 by Monday.
Australia: Michael Clarke (captain), David Warner, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Steve Smith, George Bailey, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Michael Carberry, Joe Root, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Ben Stokes, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson.