Former Ashes-winning coach Geoff Marsh has queried England's preparation for the first Test after at least four certain starters were left out of today's tour game against a WACA Chairman's XI.
Marsh, who tormented England by batting through a day with his opening partner Mark Taylor at Trent Bridge in 1989, and later coached Australia to victory in two Ashes series in the late 1990s, was surprised at the change of approach from the visitors after their success in 2010-11.
England played their Test XI in the first two warm-up matches on that tour and only rested their attack for the final game before the opening Ashes encounter at the Gabba.
They finished strongly to draw that Test before winning the series 2-1.
But four important players will not appear at the WACA Ground today with captain Alastair Cook resting his stiff back, Kevin Pietersen being given extra time to acclimatise after a late arrival, and key bowlers Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann having the three-dayer off.
"I look back on the last Ashes tour here when England played their top six batsmen in all three games," Marsh said.
"They played their top bowlers in two of the games and then sent them to Brisbane early to prepare. They prepared really well and then played really well in that first Test.
"It surprises me that they are not doing the same.
"One of the things that has been in my mind for a long time is how well they prepared for that first Test match."
Marsh will coach the WACA XI in his return to first-class ranks after stints with Australia, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
He said his team's goal would be to put England under pressure, while individual players had an opportunity to press their claims for a Warriors berth.
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who will lead the team in Cook's absence, was not concerned about the change of personnel.
Gary Ballance and Ben Stokes will have the chance to press their claims to the vacant middle-order position while the competition for the final bowling place will provide giant pacemen Chris Tremlett, Boyd Rankin and Steven Finn with considerable motivation to impress.
"These are not warm-up games, as they might have been in the past, and we want to put the best team out and ideally win them," Prior said.
"We all know the right preparation for each player and so for someone like Cooky, who has a stiff back, rushing into something is not the best idea.
"KP has been jetting around the world and still needs a couple of days rest and recuperation so that he gets into the right time zone."
TEAMS - WACA Chairman's XI: Luke Towers, Marcus Harris, Chris Lynn, Mitch Marsh, Ashton Turner, Jim Allenby, Tom Triffitt, Ryan Duffield, Michael Beer (capt.), Burt Cockley, Matt Dixon, Andrew Tye (12th).
England: Joe Root, Michael Carberry, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Gary Ballance, Ben Stokes, Matt Prior (capt.), Boyd Rankin, James Anderson, Chris Tremlett, Steven Finn.