New Delhi: The oldest rivalry is all set to be reignited as a battle-hardened and experienced England side go into the five-match test series against a callow-looking Australian team.
While Australian preparations have been dogged by problems on and off the pitch, Alastair Cook's England have quietly gone about their business, beating New Zealand 2-0 in a warm-up series and on Saturday they named a familiar 13-man squad.

Here is the look at top three players of Australia and England who can turn tides in the favour of their team.


Clarke's form with the bat since replacing Ricky Ponting as captain in 2011 has been little short of stupendous and Australia will need him at his very best if they have any chance of winning the series.
The man nicknamed 'Pup' became the first batsman to score four double-centuries in a calendar year in 2012, but with the retirements of veterans Ponting and Mike Hussey, enters the series under huge pressure to maintain the form and anchor his team's raw and often brittle batting lineup.
A flare-up of a long-term back injury has made the captain's task even stiffer, disrupting his preparations and sidelining him for the entire Champions Trophy.
Well fancy that: Having banked A$5.5 million ($5.32 million) in 2012, Clarke was the highest earning Australia-based  sportsman, according to business magazine BRW.


The tall, young left-arm fast bowler has the ability to swing the ball back into the right-handed batsman and therefore adds a lot of variety to the Australian bowling attack.
Starc is also a potent lower-order batsman with a highest test score of 99 and a more-than-useful average of 32.70 in his nine tests for Australia.
Well fancy that: Starc was a wicketkeeper-batsman before taking up bowling at the age of 15.
Injury-plagued and controversial, the barrel-chested Watson's presence in the squad remains contentious but his form with both bat and ball will be crucial in the team's quest to bring the Ashes back from England.

Despite shelving his bowling amid fitness concerns, Watson's struggles with the bat continued in the disastrous tour of India earlier this year, but he has been handed a lifeline by new coach Darren Lehmann and will re-assume his preferred role as opener where he played his best cricket.
Naturally aggressive, Watson has a history of breaking down with injury mid-series and Australia will have fingers crossed he and Clarke can play out a gruelling tour.
Well fancy that: Watson has two Schnauzer Maltese dogs named Bobbi and Clappo.

From the moment he scored a test century on his debut in India in 2006 after arriving as an injury replacement from an A tour in the Caribbean, the tall dark-haired left-hander has gone from strength to strength.
Blessed with immense mental strength and an effective, pragmatic style, Cook is already England's leading test century scorer with 25 hundreds.
Cook scored 766 runs in seven innings during England's Ashes triumph in Australia in 2010-11 and scaled further heights after taking over as England captain last year following Andrew Strauss's sudden retirement.
He scored three centuries in a row in the first three matches of a four-test series in India as England rebounded from 1-0 down to win 2-1 in one of the great comebacks. His batting against the India spinners was also outstanding with exemplary footwork and potent use of the sweep shot.
After recording two centuries against Bangladesh as stand-in skipper while Strauss was rested, Cook is the first man to score five centuries in his first five matches as captain. He is also the youngest man to score 7,000 test runs and is on course to become the most prolific England batsman ever.
Well fancy that: Cook is a former choir boy who attended St Paul's Cathedral School, travelled to the Netherlands and Brazil with the choir and sang with New Zealand soprano Kiri Te Kanawa.

One more wicket will put Anderson ahead of Fred Trueman in the all-time England list and the best swing bowler in the world deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the first man to take 300 test victims.
Anderson never possessed Trueman's raw pace but he has refined his skills to such an extent that he is an equal master of conventional outswing while also adding the modern art of reverse swing.
He can bend the new ball both ways with no discernible change in action and showed his maturity and skill in India during the English winter where he took 12 wickets at 30.25 in conditions and on pitches offering no help whatsover to pace bowlers.
Well fancy that: Anderson became the first cricketer to appear naked in Britain's biggest-selling gay magazine when he posed for Attitude in 2010.

Swann is England's best off-spinner since Jim Laker, the destroyer of the 1956 Australians, and he is crucial to England's hopes of retaining the Ashes.
He toured South Africa with the 1999 England team but did not make the test side and spent the following seasons refining his skills on the county circuit, switching from Northamptonshire to Nottinghamshire.
Swann was called up for England's tour of India in 2008, took two wickets in his first over, and has been the first choice spinner in the test and one-day side since.
Bowling with a vigorous body action, Swann spins the ball appreciably and is a master of flight.
He is also a skilled second slip and dangerous attacking batsman low in the order who looks to be back to his best after a second operation to his right elbow to remove bone fragments.
Well fancy that: For off-field recreation Swann sings in the band Dr Comfort and the Lurid Revelations.


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