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Oz you like it

June 23, 2009 11:56 IST
Ricky Ponting

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has used his team's first-round exit from the Twenty20 World Cup for some intensive practice with his rebuilt side before the Ashes series starting next month.

The team have endured mixed fortunes subsequently but showed their calibre by beating South Africa away this year after losing the previous series in Australia.

All work, no play for Mr Cricket

June 23, 2009 11:56 IST
Michael Hussey

Australia's Michael Hussey heads to the nets during a training session at the County Ground in Hove.

The Ashes opener at Cardiff starts on July 8 and Hussey will have a crucial role to play if the Australians are to regain the Ashes.

Michael learns to rock

June 23, 2009 11:56 IST
Michael Clarke

Australia's cricket captain Ricky Ponting (left) watches as Michael Clarke catches an Australian Rules football during a training session at the County Ground in Hove.

Clarke, criticised for his recent poor form, needs to get his act together as quickly as possible. 

Lee-thal weapon

June 23, 2009 11:56 IST
Brett Lee

Brett Lee catches a football during a training session in Hove.

Lee and Mitchell Johnson are two of the most exciting bowlers in world cricket at the moment but the competition among the pace bowlers in this Australian squad will be fierce.

On the bowl

June 23, 2009 11:56 IST
Troy Cooley

Australia's bowling coach Troy Cooley gestures during a training session at the County Ground in Hove.

Cooley will need to use all his experience and ensure that the Australian bowling attack, which has been off colour in recent times, gets back on track and becomes capable of dismissing the opposition twice in a Test.

A tough task at hand

June 23, 2009 11:56 IST
Tim Nielsen

Australia's coach Tim Nielsen attends a training session at the County Ground in Hove on Monday.

The world champions have lost Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden, and Adam Gilchrist from the team who defeated England 5-0 in the last Ashes contest after losing 2-1 in the unforgettable 2005 series.

The team have endured mixed fortunes subsequently but showed their calibre by beating South Africa away this year after losing the previous series in Australia.

And that makes Nilesen's job tough.

'Everything is heading in the right direction'

June 23, 2009 11:56 IST
Ricky Ponting

Ponting, who inherited one of the great Australian sides from Steve Waugh, now has an enviable mix of youth and experience at his disposal for the Ashes defence starting in Cardiff on July 8.

"The last series in South Africa was a good one with some young guys who learned a lot about international cricket and a fair bit about themselves," said Ponting.

"I've said for a while I've been very happy and very excited about where our Test cricket is heading. It's an opportunity for players on this tour to really forge an identity for themselves."

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