Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide November 29, 2010

Bollinger and Harris added to Test squad


Ricky Ponting has told Australia's first-Test bowlers that none of them are safe for Adelaide, but Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus have the most to fear after Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris were added to the 13-man squad. The home attack managed only one wicket in the second innings at the Gabba as England pummelled 517, with Johnson, Hilfenhaus and Xavier Doherty struggling for impact.

Johnson was the most disappointing as he went wicket-less for the first time in his Test career, while Hilfenhaus peaked with his breakthrough from the third ball of the opening morning. Bollinger is a left-arm fast man who was Australia's best bowler of the past year and Harris is an expert at gaining conventional and reverse swing, which could be a huge asset in Adelaide from Friday.

Johnson has never been dropped from the Test team but is the most vulnerable man as the teams fly south-west on Tuesday. Ponting said the bowler remained in a "reasonably positive" state of mind but "was not at his best". "I don't think anyone is certain yet," Ponting said. "The fact we have brought two fast bowlers in, I'm not sure if anyone is certain."

Johnson's bowling has been faltering for most of the winter and he was one of the players who was put on notice when the original 17-man squad was named for Brisbane. After responding with five wickets and a century for Western Australia, he suffered a quick relapse at the Gabba.

He delivered 42 overs for 170 runs during the match and struggled with his speed and accuracy. While he is a player who gets better with more work, there were few promising signs.

"I'm not singling one person out, because I don't think any of our bowlers were at their absolute best," Ponting said. "It's all about working in a group and working in partnerships, and I don't think we did that enough. We've got a lot of work to do as a group."

Peter Siddle was the most successful Australian bowler but even he failed to follow up his six-wicket opening on Thursday with a second-innings wicket. The pitch flattened out and England dominated, leaving Andrew Strauss's stumping off Marcus North as the only success of a demoralising second innings for the hosts. Still, the draw did end a three-match losing streak, which was their worst sequence since 1988.

Australia now have three days to finalise a Plan B as they prepare to face a pitch in Adelaide that is traditionally made for batsmen. Playing back-to-back Tests is a concern for both teams, although England gained extra recovery time by having their tough bowling days on Friday and Saturday. "If we get a flat wicket in Adelaide again," Ponting said, "we have to make sure we are a whole lot better than we were in this game."

Harris and Bollinger were both picked in the inflated first-Test squad before being released due to fitness doubts. Harris, who moved from South Australia three seasons ago, was cut because he had only just returned from a chronic knee injury, which had sent him home from England before the Pakistan series in July.

He convinced the selectors of his durability with four wickets in a one-day game for Queensland and six more in the Sheffield Shield fixture against Victoria that ended today. Ponting is a huge supporter, having seen Harris' tireless work during his first two Tests against New Zealand in March.

"There's a lot to like about Ryan," Ponting said. "The fact he's had great success at international cricket, he's one of the guys just meant to be playing."

Bollinger's lack of bowling since picking up a stomach strain in India led the selectors to settle on Siddle for the first Test. It was a controversial decision until Siddle stormed to six wickets on the opening day, including a hat-trick. Bollinger will be released a day early from New South Wales' Shield fixture against Western Australia in Perth.

Australia squad Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Marcus North, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Xavier Doherty, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris, Doug Bollinger.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ramu on December 1, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    Austrailia are finished just like we West Indies. We in WI had very, very dirty management for a long time even though we had we good players dem. We had some hard-coconut head knuckey head man dem from de islands running the show. Now dem have to pay.

  • Muthuvel on November 30, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    @ Satish/Viper, Jadoo (means magic) also called Jadeja is one of a kind in a billion. He is superior to North in the art of doing just about enough at a very tricky and thinly covered (resource vise) position in the current national 11, just..just about enough to hang on by the the very nanno tip of the left hands little finger...Jadoo is Jadoo..North doesnt even come close in this great art, some said Jadoo had perfected it, till the indian selectors found it.

  • Harry on November 30, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    australia need to refrain from launching into a witch hunt every time something goes wrong and allow time for the squad to gel and develop as a team. England, for example, has endeavoured with the likes of Broad, Cook and Collingwood even when their form is poor. As a result, England have a far stronger unit with a real sense of unity, while Australia's set up is rife with fragility and uncertainty. A squad's strength is as dependent on a sense of unity and faith in its players, as it is on individual's own skill and form.

  • Deepak on November 30, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    1)katich, 2)watson, 3)ponting, 4)clark, 5)hussy, 6)haddin, 7)north, 8)johnson, 9)harris, 10)siddle, 11)bolinger very good team north batting allrounder, johnson bowling allrounder. Team with .6 batsmans, 4 bowlers, 1wk 1 bowler can bat (johnson) 4 batsmanr can bowl (watson, katich, north, clark) 1 wk more than good batsman. dont u think SLA bowler who can't truble peterson is useless. Halfenhaus bettert in eng or subcontinant not in aus with 4 pacers decresed workload for watson & can conc. On batting. Try this best possible combo that i think.

  • Vikram on November 30, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    @ Satish.V lol guess at least North has a decent career test record.Whereas Sir Ravindra Jadeja doesn't even boast anything like that :D

  • Sunil on November 30, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    One has never seen an Australian bowling attack look so toothless and inept.So many years of domination meant a whole generation of cricketers missed out on a chance to play and now the effects are being seen.The Austrailan media in particular needs to show a little patience.The Australian slectors need to throw out the old theory of picking the best batsman as captain.Get a "peoples expert' a la Brearly or even a Bob Simpson figure who will over the next two years mould a new team. Surely the emergeing players the under 22's must have in their ranks a set of bowlers.And Brett Lee,get back to your day job.

  • Shivakumar on November 30, 2010, 11:46 GMT

    Australia has missed a generation in both departments of pace & spin. Johnson is leading an attack which should have been by Lee. A workload of a bowler in tests is 20 overs a day. When you have someone like Lee, you can definitely work out a schedule where he generally bowls 15 overs and goes to 17-20 if it is absolutely needed. They are missing guidance on the field for Johnson when he is erratic or Johnson even if he is not bowling well, needs to guide someone like Siddle who is taking a hat-trick and 6 wickets... For all the planning the aussies are supposed to be good at, they went really wrong in two things; Retirement of Gilli & Hayden; Both of them had at the least 2-3 years in them. When your wicket-keeper and your leading bowler are new you are in for chaos. Australia, is having a new keeper every series. On the whole, no point blaming the folks on the field; The backroom folks need to take the blame, of course the captain cannot be spared.

  • Shivakumar on November 30, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    The squad is the best from Australia. What needs to be done is clip off the arrogance. Arrogance reeks in its ranks, there needs to be a humility when you play a game, even if you are the best. This needs to be started from the top with Punter. Gone are the days that you show up for Australia and you are winning a game. Yes, great players from Australia did have a big mouth, they backed it up with performance. When you are struggling to bowl stump to stump, you can't let your mouth loose targeting the opposing captain. Look what England has done, they are not talking about mind games, they are not talking about the opposition, They are not even talking about winning the series. They are talking about Standing up and being counted. They have translated a lot of it into action. All the mind games is a distraction, it works when you are at your best. When you are not, it is better to focus on your game. The faster they learn, the better it will be for Australia and Cricket as a game

  • Dave on November 30, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    why the obsession for youth??? Bring back stuart clark, who has an awesome record against england (he won the 4th ashes test in 09 singlehandedly for aus) and bowls a great line and length CONSISTENTLY. Every ball he bowls is a potential wicket taking one, and even if he doesn't take many wickets, he only concedes 1-2 runs an over. He was the NEW mcgrath when mcgrath retired, and had similar successes.

  • Peter on November 30, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    Shocked rigid at booing of Ponting by Aussie spectators. Apart from being no way to behave at a cricket match, can't these morons see past their own noses? He'ss been holding the team together for three years. There is still no sign of a coming generation and Australia's current plight - not just the loss of the Ashes - certainly can't be laid at his door. Oz is lucky to have such a player. As a bat he is still by far the best they have. As a captain he is hardly a tactical genius, but has great courage & leads by example. We Poms know he is all that stands between England and a very comfortable series win.

    Even allowing for a draw being odds-on by the 5th day, and it being a working day, and that 5th day tickets are probably not sold in advance, the stay-away by Aussie fans from "fortress Gabba" was incomprehensible. It clearly contributed to their players' demoralisation & disintegration - hence Ponting's remarks about the Oval, which hopefully embarrassed the fans.

  • No featured comments at the moment.