Australia keep faith in injured Siddle
Peter Siddle will be nursed through the next week in the hope he can recover from a hamstring problem to appear in the final Test against West Indies in Perth. Siddle limped through the final days of the drawn second game and was expected to be unavailable for the decider, but the selectors avoided any changes when a scan on the injury showed no major damage.
Clint McKay stays with the outfit in the hope of a debut at the WACA while Doug Bollinger, who took five wickets in Adelaide, should hold his spot whether Siddle makes it or not. "Peter Siddle experienced some hamstring soreness during the Adelaide Test and underwent a scan on Wednesday which has cleared him of any serious damage," the team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said. "He will continue to be treated and monitored before a final decision will be made on his availability to play."
Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said Siddle would be assessed daily leading up to the match. "We are hopeful he will recover in time to take his place in the side for what should be an exciting climax to the three-match Test series," he said. Australia hold a 1-0 lead after winning in Brisbane, but West Indies controlled much of the second game to put some pressure on the hosts.
Ben Hilfenhaus was not included in the 12-man squad due to his persistent tendon injury in his left knee and will be held back in the hope he is fit for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan. "He has not made sufficient progress to select him for the Perth match and he will remain in Hobart to continue his rehabilitation," Kountouris said.
Australia squad Simon Katich, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Marcus North, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle, Doug Bollinger, Clint McKay.