The Ashes 2013-14: Australia captain Michael Clarke begins the mind games by announcing England team for first Test

Clarke made the tongue-in-cheek comment after meeting opposite number Alastair Cook at a Remembrance Day ceremony and claimed he told him their starting XI for the first match

Australia captain Michael Clarke jokingly claimed to already know England's team for the first Test in Brisbane as the Ashes mind games moved up another notch.

On the eve of England's final warm-up match, and shortly after Australia announced their squad for next week's first Test, Clarke made the tongue-in-cheek claim that he already knew England's team for the Gabba and then cheekily suggested that opposite number Alastair Cook had divulged the line-up when they spoke after Monday's Remembrance Day service in Sydney.

Clarke quipped that he knew Michael Carberry would definitely open the batting, not Joe Root, and that Chris Tremlett - rather than Steven Finn or Boyd Rankin - would be England's third seamer.

A smiling Clarke, addressing journalists at Cricket Australia's international series launch in Brisbane, said: "I saw Alastair Cook yesterday at a Remembrance Day ceremony in Sydney, and fortunately enough he gave me their team as well for the first Test match.

"So I know he hasn't announced it yet, but I thought this was a good opportunity for me to announce it."

Clarke went on to list a team sheet, reading Cook, Carberry, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Root, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Tremlett.

"Now he doesn't exactly know that yet, but I know that's the XI that is going to take the field in the first Test - so we can start our preparations as of today," he added.

"I'm very confident that will be the XI that England will play."

The Ashes banter did not stop there on Tuesday either, because before bedtime Kevin Pietersen had time for a little baiting on Twitter himself.

He had earlier asked what the English 'Poms' could call Australians in return.

In the absence of an overwhelming response, he tweeted a few hours later: "Right, so the answer to my earlier question.. We settling on #convicts?

"This could trend with some RT action?!!?!"

PA

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