SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Australia's Ryan Harris and Shane Watson both bowled without apparent discomfort in the nets at the Sydney Cricket Ground today and captain Michael Clarke expects to lead the same team out for a fifth successive test tomorrow.
Australia have completely dominated the series to take a 4-0 lead and only fitness and a tactical decision to bring in bowling all-rounder James Faulkner to exploit a green-tinged SCG wicket were likely to lead to changes in the team.
All-rounder Watson was the biggest concern after a groin strain restricted his bowling in the fourth test in Melbourne but he and paceman Harris, whose right knee is a perennial concern, looked to be holding nothing back today.
Clarke, who is no longer a selector, said he thought spin-bowling would still play its traditional role in the last couple of days of the Sydney test and said there would be no sentiment in the decision over whether to retain the same team.
"I think it would be extremely romantic but I think you've got to pick the best 11 players to help you have success in the conditions you're playing," he said.
Clarke endured four Ashes defeats and, before this series, his only taste of success was the 2006-07 series in Australia which ended up as a 5-0 sweep for the hosts.
The 32-year-old said he would have no need to talk to his team-mates, none of whom had tasted Ashes success before this series, about the importance of repeating the feat.
"I think that desire burns within every single player in the changing room," he added.