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Government Gazette

Aussies play safe, pick best possible squad

Birthday boy Johnson set to make Test debut:

The Australian cricket selectors have not taken chances, but picked their best available squad for the First Test against Sri Lanka starting at the Gabba on November 8.

Knowing the capabilities of the Lankans, who have the knack of getting under the skins of the Aussies and tormenting them the Aussie selectors headed by former opening batsman Andrew Hilditch, have picked in-form and the best available.

The Aussies will line up seven batsmen and six bowlers and will pick their playing eleven after a look at the Gabba wicket on the morning of the match.

The batsmen are: Ricky Ponting (capt), Adam Gilchrist, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Phil Jacques, and Andrew Symonds.

The bowlers: Brett Lee, Michael Johnson, Stuart Clarke. Nick Tait and Stuart MacGill and Brandd Hogg as spinners.

The best gift that comes Johnson’s way - he celebrates his 26th birthday today (Nov. 2) is that he is certain to wear the proud baggy green cap and make his long awaited debut.

Johnson a protege of the famous Dennis Lilles who has described Johnson the left arm paceman as a ‘once in a lifetime prospect’ has overcome his injury problems and is set to let fly at the Lankan batsmen.

A little known fact about Johnson as revealed by his mother is that he almost died of malnutrition when he was just two months old from a condition that stopped nutrients reaching his stomach.

While the Aussie batting line up will have no problems the first seven being - Matthew Hayden, Phil Jacques, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Michael Hussey and Adam Gilchrist, it is the bowling that is a bit of a worry for the selectors.

Brett Lee will lead the pace battery with Nick Tait and Michael Johnson for support. If they opt to leave out Tait, then Stuart Clarke would come in.

As for the spinners the scale tilts in favour of Stuart MacGill, who is set to take over the role of Shane Warne. MacGill is also a match winning leg spinner and should fill in the void created with the retirement of Warne.

Pity if left arm spinner Bradd Hogg has to miss out. He has been bowling with great success in the Pura Cup games and will be in the frame when the final eleven is picked.

From the squad picked it is apparent that the selectors are not sure as to how the wicket would play. They have named a any wicket - pace or spin - squad and will have to problems in picking a winning combination.

Many were tiping, Simon Katich who made a triple hundred to be in the squad. But then the selectors could pick only a certain squad and Katich was unlucky to miss out.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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