With Watson likely to not be available for the First Test starting Friday in Brisbane, a South Australian youngster looks set to get his second chance at playing for Australia – and let’s hope this time it’s not marred by a breakdown.
Tait’s slingshot action continues to baffle the English top order but selectors could pick Stuart Clark ahead of him because of Tait’s own injury concerns and the selector’s preference for a conservative approach.
Tait does have one big fan – Ian Chappell, who hopes for a lethal Lillee/Thompson combination with Lee and Tait.
The English selectors also have dilemmas with their choice of bowlers – Giles over Monty and to include Harmison or not. Giles is your average predictable spinner while Monty is still very much an unknown factor to the Australians and definitely worth the try on the Brisbane wicket – likely to produce some spin from Day 3. Warne has also slammed the inclusion of Jones.
My guess at the Australian XI is: Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting, Damian Martyn, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Brett Lee, Glen McGrath, Shaun Tait. Meaning that Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clarke miss out along with Watson.
I popped down to the lovely Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon to see a few hours of the English batting. The grass was green, the pitch was fantastic and typical of Adelaide Oval – spinning on Day 2. Like a number of the Aussie commentators I think Pieterson is suspect to the bouncer and the new ball being clean bowled by Jason Gillespie.
Maybe his mind was on other matters – the young men starring at him while he was sitting in the box before coming out to bat. That’s all they were doing, until it appeared that Pieterson asked Police to tell them to stop! A couple of pics have been posted here. (Can someone teach me how to do it properly in WordPress?!)
Meanwhile in local action Phil Jacques who has already made two huge scores against England in the warm-up matches continues his form with a match-winning 75 (56 balls) for NSW vs Tasmania in the one-day game. Jacques is likely to be the next Lehman with his complete domination of the domestic game, but given few chances at international level.