Ashes winners achieve rare feat

SYDNEY -  Michael Clarke's Ashes champions are set to be immortalised in history as the first Australian team to remain unchanged for the duration of a five-Test series.

Australia set to field same line-up again

The same XI that kick-started Australia's epic turnaround in Brisbane back in November will be rewarded in Sydney and become only the fourth international team to achieve the feat.

Australia is vying to become just the third side in Ashes cricket to achieve a 5-0 whitewash, and Shane Watson and Ryan Harris are likely  to be on deck at the SCG to see out what they started.

In August at The Oval, when England lifted the urn for a third successive series, Australia's players made a point of staying on the field to watch the celebrations and soak up the pain.

Nine of those players were given a shot at redemption this summer, and along with Mitchell Johnson and George Bailey have turned the tables in emphatic fashion.

Australia will train on New Year's Day with a 14-man squad, but opener Chris Rogers hopes selectors stick with the tight crew.

"I think so. It would be quite nice for all the guys who have played in the whole series to be rewarded at the end," he said.

"If you were to miss out this game and be presented with a victory at the end, it wouldn't be as sweet. Everyone is keen to play.

"We made sure we went and watched England when they won at The Oval and I can still remember how that felt.

"To be on the other side this time is fantastic and I'm sure we'll milk every moment of it."

Back in 1989 Australia fielded the same side for five consecutive matches against England, but that was in a six-Test series.

Greg Campbell played the first Test before he was replaced by Trevor Hohns.

Only England against Australia in 1884-85, South Africa against England in 1905-06 and the West Indies against Australia in 1991 have stayed the same throughout a five-Test campaign.

Although Watson and Harris are still carrying their niggles, they appear likely to play.

Captain Clarke was quick to point out after the series was clinched in Perth that team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris and doctor Peter Brukner have played crucial roles in keeping Australia's XI together.

Kountouris has ensured Clarke has only missed one Test in his career, despite chronic back problems, while Watson has credited Brukner for keeping him consistently on the field.

Australia's medical men have helped enable coach Darren Lehmann to abandon the fast bowling rotation policy and pick his best XI.

"Alex and the doc Peter have done a fantastic job in looking after the current crop in making sure we're as fit as we can be leading up and getting through Test matches," Clarke said of this Ashes series. -  AAP

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