New Australian coach Darren Lehmann had already said Chris Rogers and Shane Watson would open for the Aussies, but there was speculation Warner’s attacking style could light up the middle order. 

Instead, selectors are said to have gone with all-rounder Steve Smith and deposed opener Ed Cowan, who plays for Nottinghamshire and will be well-versed in the conditions when he arrives at the crease at number three. 

Smith scored 68 not out and 43 at Worcester while Warner was on the sidelines and his leg-spin gives captain Michael Clarke another bowling option. 

Clarke will surprise no one when he arrives at number four, while reports are claiming Phillip Hughes has won first crack at the English attack ahead of Usman Khawaja at number five. 

While veteran quick and Ashes warrior Peter Siddle was considered the least in form Aussie bowler, he’s strongly tipped to take his place today after he didn’t train yesterday. 

This means injury prone Ryan Harris and in-form Jackson Bird will miss out.

The other two bowlers sitting out of an optional session at Trent Bridge were the new ball pairing of Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson. 

Nathan Lyon will be the spinner and vice-captain Brad Haddin will be the keeper. 

This is all speculation, of course, as captain Michael Clarke said yesterday that all players have been told to prepare as if they’re playing today. 

Being the underdogs, they’re going to keep the England side guessing until the last moment. 

Australia’s likely XI: Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Ed Cowan, Michael Clarke (capt), Phil Hughes, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin (keeper/vice capt), Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon

Image via Getty