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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Australia set to maintain winning combination in Sydney

Australia set to maintain winning combination in Sydney

December 31, 2013 12:25 IST

Australia set to maintain winning combination in SydneyOpening batsman Chris Rogers wants an unchanged Australian team for the fifth and final Ashes Test as a reward for the eleven players who beat England in the first four matches to emphatically wrest back the urn.

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The hosts have played with the same team since the start of the series in November and they will head to Sydney eyeing a whitewash when the match starts on Friday.

"We've had some good stability," Rogers, who struck a sparkling century to fire Australia to a dominant eight-wicket win in the fourth Ashes Test, told reporters on Tuesday.

"I just think it would be nice to have that same 11 standing on the podium at the end.

"The guys who have been here this whole series deserve to be there so it would be nice if we can keep that same team."

Paceman Ryan Harris and all-rounder Shane Watson bowled sparingly in the second innings in Melbourne as they managed respective knee and groin complaints but are expected to be fit for Sydney.

Australia lost 3-0 in the year's first Ashes series in England and few would have seen the reversal Down Under.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon said the hosts' ruthless performance did not come as a surprise to him and he also expected to be part of an unchanged Australia team.

"We knew it was coming to be honest," Lyon said, adding that Australia were thinking nothing other than winning the series 5-0. "Yes England beat us over there 3-0 but it was a lot closer over there.

"We had opportunities but we fell over at the line and here in Australia we've won the bigger moments and won them pretty well.

"It's been a big reward for what we went through in England."

Image: Chris Rogers of Australia is congratulated by Shane Watson of Australia after reaching his century
Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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