30 Jul 2009

Australia likely to stick with same line-up

12:31 pm on 30 July 2009

Australia are poised to make one of the biggest selection gambles in Ashes history by playing the mentally-suspect Mitchell Johnson in front of the most hostile cricketing crowd in England.

Skipper Ricky Ponting has admitted Johnson's personal life being dragged through the media this month had taken its toll on the errant paceman.

So high are the stakes with the tourists trailing 1-0 heading into the third Test tonight, that Johnson's performance at Edgbaston could potentially make or break him at the top level.

However coach Tim Neilsen says consistency of selection is important and he needs to show faith in the team.

The Australians are considering playing Mitchell in short bursts in the hope that his wicket-taking ability outweighs his leaking of runs following his dramatic form slump.