Peter George on standby for Ryan Harris
Peter George, the young South Australia fast bowler, has been called into Australia's Test squad in New Zealand as cover for Ryan Harris, who is battling a side injury. Harris is carrying the slight problem following the one-day series and was unable to train outside due to the rainy conditions in Wellington on Wednesday.
Alex Kountouris, Australia's physiotherapist, said it was not clear if Harris would be available for Friday's opening Test at the Basin Reserve. "The plan is he will bowl again outdoors [on Thursday] and hopefully be passed fit to play," he said.
Harris, who has not appeared in a Test, has been outstanding in the one-day games this summer and has been jostling with Clint McKay for the final bowling spot in the XI. George, 23, had a strong season with South Australia, finishing second on the Sheffield Shield wicket list with 36 at 30.44.
Andrew Hilditch, the national selection chairman, said George was an exciting fast bowler. "The panel believes that should the opportunity arise, Peter has the skills to succeed at this level and will benefit greatly from being around the Australian set-up," he said.
Queensland's Ben Cutting seemed a more suitable candidate for some work experience but he is involved in the Sheffield Shield final against Victoria at the MCG. Australia are already without Peter Siddle (back) and Ben Hilfenhaus (knee), while Brett Lee has retired from Tests to extend his limited-overs career.