Cricket: Australia name 17-man squad amid injury doubts

Australia have named a 17-man squad for the opening Ashes Test against England at The Gabba in Brisbane, including potential debutants Xavier Doherty, Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson.

Selectors have named the larger squad because of concerns over the fitness of several players, including vice-captain Michael Clarke, who is battling back problems, and New South Wales fast bowler Doug Bollinger, who only returned from an abdominal injury in grade cricket at the weekend.

But with selectors also keen to analyse form in this week's Sheffield Shield games and the tour-game clash between Australia A and England in Hobart, the squad will be trimmed back to either 12 or 13 players over the weekend before the players assemble in Brisbane.

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Squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice-captain), Doug Bollinger, Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, Ryan Harris, Nathan Hauritz, Mike Hussey, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Usman Khawaja, Marcus North, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wicketkeeper).