15 Nov 2010

Australia name expanded squad for Ashes

3:48 pm on 15 November 2010

Australia's cricket selectors have covered all bases by choosing a 17-man squad for the first Ashes Test at the Gabba starting on Thursday week.

The squad, which includes one more player than England's tour party, will be whittled down to 12 or 13 next week but it highlights the selectors' uncertainty over their team.

Tasmanian left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty is the biggest surprise, one of three spinner named, along with Nathan Hauritz and Steve Smith.

There's also batting cover for vice-captain Michael Clarke who has a back injury and is in some doubt while opener Simon Katich is making a an injury comeback.

There are also concerns over left-arm quick Doug Bollinger who hasn't played for the past month due to a side strain, with five pace bowlers named.