Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Team announced for the 2nd test in Adelaide.

Tearaway quicks Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait have been included in Australia's 13-man squad for the second 3 mobile Ashes Test against England, starting at Adelaide Oval on Friday.

But the additions of Queensland left-armer Johnson and South Australian express Tait to the XI that won the first Test at the Gabba by 277 runs mean there is again no place for spinner Stuart MacGill.

"We are obviously thrilled with the first Test result but we expect Adelaide to be an extraordinarily tough Test match," said National Selection Panel chairman Andrew Hilditch.

"With that in mind we'll continue to look at our options to improve the team as we prepare for a series of tough Ashes encounters. We have picked a squad of 13 to suit the conditions in Adelaide and will look to finalise the 11 during the course of preparation for this Test match."

Selectors were again unable to consider all-rounder Shane Watson with the Queenslander still recovering from the hamstring strain that also prevented him from being selected for the first Test, and his absence has also proved costly for MacGill.

"It is very disappointing for Shane Watson that he will not be fit for this match but we are hopeful for a speedy recovery in advance of the third Test," Hilditch added.

"The possibility of using two specialist spinners continues to be discussed. That decision is made more difficult while Shane Watson is unfit but it will be reviewed depending on the particular conditions we will face at each venue."

But with Michael Clarke making 56 in his only innings in Brisbane after replacing Watson late last week when he had to withdraw, selectors were pleased with the way the New South Wales batsman performed.

"Michael Clarke seized his opportunity after being called in at late notice and played extremely well throughout the first Test and again this highlights the strength of Australian cricket," he said.

The squad for the second 3 mobile Ashes Test is:
Ricky Ponting (captain)TAS
Adam Gilchrist (vice-captain)WA
Michael Clarke NSW
Stuart Clark NSW
Matthew Hayden QLD
Michael Hussey WA
Mitchell Johnson QLD
Justin Langer WA
Brett Lee NSW
Damien Martyn WA
Glenn McGrath NSW
Shaun Tait SA
Shane Warne VIC


Not a totally unexpected decision here by the selectors although Stuart McGill is unlucky(like he has been his whole career) Lee isn't in the best of form with the ball but his batting has improved out of sight and it will only take one match for him to turn his bowling form around. They would have been tempted to drop either Lee or Martyn(I probably would have dropped one if I was a selector) and included McGill but you can't go around changing a winning formula too much as it can create instability.

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