But John Inverarity, Australia's chairman of selectors, insisted the Ashes squad contained the "best players available" and that history showed Australia teams written off before a tour of England had a habit of making critics eat their words.
History backs Oz"In 1968 it was said that we had one of the weakest squads, that was 1-1," former Test batsman Inverarity told BBC Radio's Test Match Special.
"And another time I remember the English press said it was most certainly the weakest team to come to England was in 1989 and Australia won the series 4-0.
"We have got in that squad of 16 the best players available.
"We are looking forward to them acquitting themselves well and we will see what happens."
Meanwhile, captain Michael Clarke will stay in London as he recovers from a back problem, while two of his Ashes colleagues, Matthew Wade and Phil Hughes, join the country's A side ahead of their tour match against English county Gloucestershire.