Surprise inclusions into the 16 man touring squad include 22-year-old Tasmanian all rounder James Faulkner and 35-year-old Victorian batsman Chris Rogers, who previously played his one and only test for Australia in 2008.

Queensland pace bowler Ryan Harris’ test career has also come full circle, being included in the squad having missed the last two seasons of international cricket with a series of niggling injuries.

Harris’ inclusion in the squad has seemingly come at the expense of Western Australia’s Mitchell Johnson, who seemed to have reestablished himself in the side at the end of the Australia summer, only to have a disastrous recent tour of the sub-continent.

Shane Watson stepping down from the vice captaincy role has also opened the door for another player who may have been forgiven for thinking his Test career was all but over in Brad Haddin. The 35-year-old New South Wales wicket keeper did not play a single test on home soil last summer but has been named as vice captain for the tour, almost ensuring that he will be the starting wicket keeper, pushing Matthew Wade out of the XI.

Faulkner’s inclusion comes on the back of the young left-arm all rounders terrific domestic form with both bat and ball, having lead Tasmania to the 2013 Sheffield Shield title, with 125 wickets at an average of 22.34 in his 34 First Class matches to date.

Rogers too seems to have played himself back into contention with an impressive stint in County Cricket with Warwickshire and his inclusion will no doubt have both Ed Cowan and Phil Hughes looking over their shoulders.

The selectors have also gone with only one specialist spin bowler with South Australian wrist spinner Nathan Lyon getting the nod ahead of Tasmania’s Xavier Doherty.

All in all it seems solid, without being overly spectacular. Australia’s top and middle orders in particular will have to prove themselves able to play genuine swing bowling, a problem that has haunted many more established Australian touring sides in Ashes past.

Full squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Brad Haddin (vice-captain), Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, Chris Rogers, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc.