Australia v India, 2003-04 December 22, 2003

Lee replaces Gillespie for third Test

Brett Lee: glad to be back in action
© Getty Images

Brett Lee has been included in the Australian squad of 12 for the Boxing Day Test against India in Melbourne. After proving he had overcome an abdominal injury, Lee was called up to replace Jason Gillespie, who has a groin strain.

"Brett is an established Test player and has demonstrated that he is back to full fitness following injury," said Trevor Hohns, the chairman of selectors. "The two Pura Cup matches he now has under his belt have been ideal preparation for his comeback, and we were encouraged by his recent form against Tasmania in Sydney.

"Brett always adds some zest to the attack and will be supported by our other bowlers who we felt, despite the loss, served the side well in Adelaide."

Nathan Bracken was retained in the team despite being 12th man in Adelaide, which meant that there was no room for Matthew Nicholson, who was the pick of the fast bowlers in the match between India and Australia A which ended in a tame draw at Hobart yesterday. Australia is likely to play three fast bowlers and Stuart MacGill, the legspinner, at the MCG, with either Bracken or Brad Williams likely to carry the drinks.

But there has also been speculation that the home side could go into the must-win Test with five bowlers, meaning Simon Katich could miss out. Australia needs to win the final two Tests if it is to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Squad 1 Steve Waugh (capt), 2 Justin Langer, 3 Matthew Hayden, 4 Ricky Ponting, 5 Damien Martyn, 6 Simon Katich, 7 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 8 Andy Bichel, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Nathan Bracken, 11 Stuart MacGill, 12 Brad Williams.