By KEIRAN SMITH
2014-01-03 10:22 AM
SYDNEY (AP) -- England took the prize wickets of captain Michael Clarke and Shane Watson just before lunch to have Australia at 94-4 after the opening session of the fifth Ashes test on Friday.
Alastair Cook won his first toss of the series and sent Australia in to bat on a green-tinged Sydney Cricket Ground pitch. Ben Stokes then took two wickets and Jimmy Anderson one with the final ball before lunch after Australia had threatened to take control early.
Anderson had Watson (43) given out lbw right on lunch, shortly after Stokes found the edge of Clarke's bat to have the captain caught by Ian Bell at second slip for 10.
Earlier, David Warner (16) had signaled his intent by smashing three boundaries off one Stuart Broad over, but the England seamer responded by hitting Warner's off-stump to break Australia's opening partnership on 22.
Stokes had Chris Rogers play on to his own stumps for 11 after his ball hit the underside of the opener's bat and fell onto the stumps.
Steve Smith was unbeaten on eight at lunch and will be joined by George Bailey after the interval.
England made three changes for the fifth test with Scott Borthwick, Boyd Rankin and Gary Ballance all making their test debuts as the tourists attempt to avoid a repeat of the humiliating 5-0 whitewash from the 2006-07 Ashes series.
Ballance replaced Joe Root and will bat at No. 5, with Ian Bell moving up to No. 3. Leg-spinning allrounder Borthwick replaced offspinner Monty Panesar, while seamer Rankin came in for Tim Bresnan.
Borthwick is the first legspinner to play for England since Ian Salisbury against Pakistan in 2000.
Australia made no changes to the XI that convincingly won the first four tests and regained the Ashes, becoming just the fourth team to keep the same lineup in each match of a five-test series.
Only England against Australia in 1884-85, South Africa against England in 1905-06 and West Indies against Australia in 1991 achieved the feat.
Australia, fifth in the test rankings, can overtake England and move into third place with a 5-0 series win.