The Ashes 2010-11 December 9, 2010

No major shoulder damage for Ryan Harris

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Australia's struggling outfit has received some much needed good news after Ryan Harris was cleared of a serious shoulder injury and passed fit for next week's crucial third Ashes Test. Harris suffered the problem during the heavy loss in Adelaide, where he was the team's best bowler, but scans showed there was no significant damage.

Harris' health provides only one answer for the battered hosts, who went 1-0 down with the crushing innings defeat on Tuesday. The squad for the Perth match, which starts next Thursday, is expected to be named on Friday and by then the selectors will have had a week of headaches caused by the damaging bowling and batting issues.

Mitchell Johnson is in Perth training alongside Troy Cooley, the team's bowling coach, in the WACA nets instead of playing for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield match against Queensland from Friday. The move shows he is almost certain to return after being dropped last week for the first time in his Test career.

Any hopes the selectors had of giving Johnson, who has not been able to click in two Ashes series, an extended break ended when Doug Bollinger and Peter Siddle struggled for consistency as England reached 5 for 620 declared in Adelaide. At least the selectors know that Johnson can deliver random brutal spells, which is something the side needs after taking only six wickets for 1137 runs in the past two innings.

Bollinger's fitness and effectiveness were below par so he is unlikely to make the squad, while Siddle hasn't taken a wicket since he broke through with six on the opening day of the series. Ben Hilfenhaus, who will be valuable bowling into the WACA's Fremantle Doctor breeze, and Johnson are likely to join Harris, who collected 2 for 84 off 29 overs in his third Test.

Harris is capable of moving the ball during most stages of the innings and also operates in the 140kphs, but his body will never allow him to take his position for granted. He has a chronic knee injury that gives him constant pain and his latest problem provides another concern.

However, Alex Kountouris, Australia's physiotherapist, said Harris' shoulder injury was minor. "He was able to bowl during the game unrestricted and scans have cleared him of any significant damage," Kountouris said.

Ricky Ponting met with Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, after the match on Tuesday to discuss the way forward and senior Cricket Australia officials have also been in talks as the hosts attempt to prevent a first Ashes loss at home since 1986-87. The selectors are expected to name a 13-man squad, as they did for the opening two matches, and must decide whether to tinker or deliver wholesale changes.

There will be at least one alteration, with Simon Katich's serious heel injury leaving a spot for either Phillip Hughes or Usman Khawaja. The spin position also needs resolving after Xavier Doherty's ineffective performances over the first two Tests.

Nathan Hauritz is in form with the bat - he scored 146 as a nightwatchman for New South Wales this week - but needs some wickets in the second innings to show he is ready for a recall. Steven Smith, the legspinning allrounder, is another contender and the confusion over the slow bowling ranks will probably earn a reprieve for the No.6 Marcus North, who doubles as the part-time offspinner.

Possible squad Shane Watson, Phillip Hughes, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Marcus North, Brad Haddin (wk), Steven Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Team_Doctor on December 10, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    Team for 3rd Ashes test:

    Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Ponting, Hussey, Hodge, Haddin, Smith, Johnson, Harris, Bollinger

  • Chris_Howard on December 10, 2010, 1:40 GMT

    We gotta get Watto down the order so we can get more overs out of him. Hussey seems to have rediscovered his game (although 2 years was much too long to wait, he shoulda been dumped 12 months ago) so push him up to open as he's also an experienced opener for his state. So, something like... Hughes, M.Hussey, Ponting, Clarke, Watson, D.Hussey, Haddin, Smith, Harris, Cameron, Siddle

  • BartSimpson01 on December 10, 2010, 0:57 GMT

    S.MARSH has to be ahead of HUGHES, he plays at the WACA and has been in form this summer ... MITCH for BOLLINGER ... SMITH for DOHERTY ... D.HUSSEY for NORTH cause he is rubbish against spin and his bowling is of no use, DAVID HUSSEY can bowl better ...

  • WeirPicki on December 9, 2010, 23:38 GMT

    Johnson is a dud, if they select this guy then the series is over.

  • uetian73 on December 9, 2010, 22:44 GMT

    Australian selectors should realise by now that almost all the english batsmen are in form (against a relatively poor Oz bowling), whereas Oz batsmen are not doing what they are supposed to be doing. North and Clark (and maybe Pointing as well) should take rest and players like Smith and Khawaja should be given a chance..

  • Iceborn999 on December 9, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    Hughes, Watson, Hodge, M Hussey, D Hussey, Haddin, Smith, Johnson, Hauritz, Lee, Harris... Cam White also in the squad..... This squad might look hilarious when you look at it at first.. but just think about it.... its pretty decent.

  • on December 9, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    Anyone considered David Hussey might be an ideal replacement for Marcus North? Like for like and deserves a go at least.

  • timmytimmytimmytimmy on December 9, 2010, 20:36 GMT

    north must go!! replace him with smith, it´ll improve our batting and bowling. you can´t play 4 bowlers who are hopeless with the bat, the tail needs to wag a bit. bring back mitch and haurtiz

    1. hughes 2. wato 3. ponting 4. clarke 5. hussey 6. haddin 7. smith 8. mitch 9. hauritz 10. harris 11. hilf

  • stationmaster on December 9, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    I love the fact that all the 'pommie bashers' that were writing on here, have no turned in on their own team, wonderful for the English fans to sit and read this site and watch the public turn on their own team. yyeeeeee hhhaaa !

  • Something_Witty on December 9, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    The boys are playing like rubbish at the moment, however, all it takes is one good session, - a big partnership or a fine spell of bowling, to get things back on track. I highly doubt that we will be able to win the Ashes from this position, but we SHOULD be able to blood some youngsters for the future and at least be competitive for the rest of the series. It's great that Hughes will (should) be coming in, I'd like to see 2 of Steve Smith/Steve O'keefe/Khawaja in the side as well. It's up to the selectors to stop being conservative and cautious and look to the future, when the likes of Ponting/Katich/Hussey retire.

  • Team_Doctor on December 10, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    Team for 3rd Ashes test:

    Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Ponting, Hussey, Hodge, Haddin, Smith, Johnson, Harris, Bollinger

  • Chris_Howard on December 10, 2010, 1:40 GMT

    We gotta get Watto down the order so we can get more overs out of him. Hussey seems to have rediscovered his game (although 2 years was much too long to wait, he shoulda been dumped 12 months ago) so push him up to open as he's also an experienced opener for his state. So, something like... Hughes, M.Hussey, Ponting, Clarke, Watson, D.Hussey, Haddin, Smith, Harris, Cameron, Siddle

  • BartSimpson01 on December 10, 2010, 0:57 GMT

    S.MARSH has to be ahead of HUGHES, he plays at the WACA and has been in form this summer ... MITCH for BOLLINGER ... SMITH for DOHERTY ... D.HUSSEY for NORTH cause he is rubbish against spin and his bowling is of no use, DAVID HUSSEY can bowl better ...

  • WeirPicki on December 9, 2010, 23:38 GMT

    Johnson is a dud, if they select this guy then the series is over.

  • uetian73 on December 9, 2010, 22:44 GMT

    Australian selectors should realise by now that almost all the english batsmen are in form (against a relatively poor Oz bowling), whereas Oz batsmen are not doing what they are supposed to be doing. North and Clark (and maybe Pointing as well) should take rest and players like Smith and Khawaja should be given a chance..

  • Iceborn999 on December 9, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    Hughes, Watson, Hodge, M Hussey, D Hussey, Haddin, Smith, Johnson, Hauritz, Lee, Harris... Cam White also in the squad..... This squad might look hilarious when you look at it at first.. but just think about it.... its pretty decent.

  • on December 9, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    Anyone considered David Hussey might be an ideal replacement for Marcus North? Like for like and deserves a go at least.

  • timmytimmytimmytimmy on December 9, 2010, 20:36 GMT

    north must go!! replace him with smith, it´ll improve our batting and bowling. you can´t play 4 bowlers who are hopeless with the bat, the tail needs to wag a bit. bring back mitch and haurtiz

    1. hughes 2. wato 3. ponting 4. clarke 5. hussey 6. haddin 7. smith 8. mitch 9. hauritz 10. harris 11. hilf

  • stationmaster on December 9, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    I love the fact that all the 'pommie bashers' that were writing on here, have no turned in on their own team, wonderful for the English fans to sit and read this site and watch the public turn on their own team. yyeeeeee hhhaaa !

  • Something_Witty on December 9, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    The boys are playing like rubbish at the moment, however, all it takes is one good session, - a big partnership or a fine spell of bowling, to get things back on track. I highly doubt that we will be able to win the Ashes from this position, but we SHOULD be able to blood some youngsters for the future and at least be competitive for the rest of the series. It's great that Hughes will (should) be coming in, I'd like to see 2 of Steve Smith/Steve O'keefe/Khawaja in the side as well. It's up to the selectors to stop being conservative and cautious and look to the future, when the likes of Ponting/Katich/Hussey retire.

  • cricketmaniagola on December 9, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    Australia wont go anywhere by too much chopping n changing...one must admit revival of English cricket ...they outplayed Australia more than Australia played poorly...it was not a case of horror show...they just need to regroup and rethink their Strategy. Michael Hussey should open alongwith Shane Watson, followed by Brad Hodge, Michael Clarke, Cameron White, Ricky Ponting, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clarke with Ryan Harris as 12th man...Ryan Harris has a chroni9c knee problem n the Aussies must not risk him in a five day game..he is good for their ODI plans alongwith Xavier Doherty, Brett Lee n Shaun tait...in this Test line up C White should be encouraged to bowl his leg breaks, he started his carrer as leg break bowler for his state, his height and strong shoulders can get much out of wicket...got Sachin R Tendulkar as his first wicket....Ponting needs to get down the order since his mind has too much issues to handle at present...

  • Caveman. on December 9, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    Aussies are struggling not just with their bowling but with their batting as well. I have no idea why the Aussie selectors consistently leave out Brad Hodge while keeping Marcus North in the side. Even David Hussey should be a better bet than eother North or an out of form Clarke.

    As far as part-time spin goes, whatever happened to Katich and Clarke's spin? Clarke especially had been effective in the past as partnership breaker, yet Ponting refuses to have either of these two have a bowl. And, the one fast bowler who is closest to McGrath amongst the current crop of Aussie players, Stuart Clark, continues to stay out of the side.

    I agree England have played well and deserved to win. But they might consider dropping a word of thanks to the Aussie selectors for making their life easier.

  • RMur on December 9, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    Dear Selectors please take my advice, Play Smith and Johnson and please leave Watson at #1, don't fix if it is not broken. Forget about Shane Warne, Lee Mcgrath and company. Take an advice from Ritchie Benaud, if this team is your best players and you lost, then you were beaten by a better team. Please don go about chopping and changing. Play your BEST PLAYERS.

  • on December 9, 2010, 16:34 GMT

    People were calling for Hussey to dropped and, thankfully, he has returned to some form. North, however, is a different case. He has been consistently inconsistent and a real weak link at a time when we desperately need consistency. If he is being retained in part for his bowling, then bring in Smith or McDonald instead. At present, Hauritz is doing a better job of batting than North! I really don't know why North is in the side.

    My team: Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Ponting, Hussey, Haddin, Smith, Johnson, Hauritz, Harris, Copeland and Siddle as 12th man

  • on December 9, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    DEAR SELECTORS, please listen to the public, you have a moral responsibility to pick a team that us, the paying public, can be proud of. You have nothing to lose now selectors. This team needs new blood, its time to REBUILD. How can Marcus North continue to get picked? If you continue to pick failing players then you are doing yourselves and the public a disservice! Take a chance and bleed new blood, these guys will need time. What is the point in making them play state cricket until they are 30 to then only be good for 4-5 years at international level, if that! COPELAND will take wickets! PLEASE TAKE A CHANCE! CAMERON will surely do a better job than current mob! KUWAHJA deserves a place, he will need some time. Please don't do a HODGE job on him too! SIDDLE out! BOLLINGER out! NORTH out out out!

  • on December 9, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    ponting should drop down a spot or two, his reflexes arent what they use to and it could benefit him and the team moving down to 4 or 5. I would go with Watto, hughes, Khawaja, ponting, hussey, haddin, smith, johnson, haurtiz, harris and copeland. No clarke, no north, no doherty, no siddle or bollinger, but i would keep hilfy in the squad and i would bring in 1st Trent Copeland who i believe is the best bowler in australia. Khawaja at 3, he is all class and beautiful to watch, smith brings attacking batting, energetic fielding and improving leggies which might be usefull on a 5th day pitch. Hauritz comes back, so there is off and leg spin and johnson and harris. I considered marsh opening, considered O'keefe, even d hussey and also white for some experience players.

  • on December 9, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    remove ponting the team without him is a strong team with out even looking at the composition

  • ukpoonia on December 9, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    change in batting order is another option for ponting.aus should try clarke on third position n ricky should bat on no. 5.i think this will helpful bcoz if top order collapse ponting is still there.

  • Okakaboka on December 9, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    @Point4 you are exactly right...the point I have been making....it makes no sense to drop Siddle when he is developing...what is he 25 or 26. Or the others are pushing 30...IT IS TOO LATE for Bollinger, Harris, Johnston, Clark, Lee, and even Hilfenhauss....times up! We need a srtike Bowler.....Is Pattinson fit yet? We need to develop a couple of young guns now. Yeah, okay...we might loose now... we don't mind if young players loose...it is when you see old farts getting clobbered the shackles go up....North is an old fart that must go...he bats like a mid-week ladies tennis player! Oh, and Clarke isn't young either....he can retire too!!!!

  • on December 9, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    these days players have to perform in important matches to stay in the team...clarke scored a wasted eighty in the last match...one thinks that the more players become dependable the more they should be depended upon...watson may not not look top class but he opens well...unless u find a hayden keep him opening...one could give a captaincy tryout to hussey while dropping ponting and clarke..give okeefe , copeland and even swan a chance...bring in new batsmen... swing the changes until u make a dependable team...if u want to continue playing ponting and clarke tell them they have to score...ricky now does not look a three... more five or six...

  • Ozcricketwriter on December 9, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    I cannot understand how come Hussey's position was under threat, Johnson was dropped and now there is talk of dropping Doherty AHEAD OF DROPPING NORTH! Surely it is obvious to everyone out there that Marcus North has to go! If North plays, Australia have handed England the Ashes.

  • OL-ROWNDER on December 9, 2010, 11:16 GMT

    who said 5-0? 3-0 is on the cards or 2-1

  • on December 9, 2010, 11:10 GMT

    why cant Paine open with Watson?

  • Point4 on December 9, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    Aus problem with bowling has a lot do with the yester years selection policy of 'not allowing a player to play international cricket' till 30.that was a mishap and results are seen and continuing.the irony is this policy was quickly reversed.Take the instance of stuart Clarke who resembled Pidge a lot.he came in took a lot of wickest had a bit of one bad match in Eng last year and was dropped in favour of 'young guns'.Nathen Bracken said in 2k7 that he did not know what more needs to be done to get in the test squad..One wonders what prompted Brett Lee to retire before attaining greatness (surely he must have felt that his time is up based on aus selection policy in place)otherwise he would not have called it quits at that time over the injury...Imagine Clarke and Lee bowling togetehr along with a couple of newies like Harris and Bollinger....Aus disaster is self made .The selectors should be sacked without giving a single $.period

  • OL-ROWNDER on December 9, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    Australia's problem is The Dying Ponting. He was never an outstanding captain. Mat Hayden, Gilchrist, Mcgrath and Warne were match winners and high class performers. Without them Ponting could not survive long. Siddle and Johnson both got awards in 2009. Hauritz isn't good. He performed against Pakistan which is extremely misleading criteria for selection. Cook and KP were almost thrown out by Asif and Amir and Ponting is such a bad captain that he failed against them. Australia needs a captain. The team is not bad. Ponting captaincy is evident from 434/438 match. Thats why he was asking for Lee and Johnson. Johnson should not be dropped.

  • on December 9, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    My Team For 3rd Ashes Test: Shane Watson, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke,Cameron White, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Steve O'Keefe, Nathan Hauritz, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus.

    Think AUS Selectors.

  • on December 9, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    AUSTRALIA will go on losing matches if they dont bring back BRETT LEE their bowler if they wanna win the ashes the have to have to bring brett lee

  • Beertjie on December 9, 2010, 10:32 GMT

    I agree with the thinking of @kardon. You need to have attack and defence in your bowling mix. Copeland, Harris, Hilfenhaus to defend; Smith and Johnson to attack. A better balanced team for the conditions at the WACA (for many years now no longer the quick bouncing track) may be: Watson, Hussey, Khawaja, Clarke, Ponting, Smith, Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Hilfenhaus, Copeland. The trick is in the revised batting order. As many have stated, Ponting's reflexes are not what they're used to be, so drop down a couple of places and let that old (in form) opener Hussey and Watson give the side a good solid start (Hussey may bat through and get a big hundred). The young gun Khawaja is worth a try sometime, so get him in there and see what happens. As many have written, Smith as a package can't be any worse than North, so bring him in now. That re-jigged combination looks better than the hit and hope lot we've been contemplating recently. At least, there is a "plan to execute" - stop easy runs!

  • Will90 on December 9, 2010, 10:23 GMT

    @v_singh, on the first day, batting on an absolute road of a pitch, Australia made 245. England had not batted yet, so there was no pressure of trying to match a huge score. Could you please tell me where the Australian batting line-up without any problems is playing? I would very much like to see them, they sound much better to watch than the rabble that was in Adelaide.

  • Nahal on December 9, 2010, 10:18 GMT

    Hello All, I think its bad days for Aussies but don't worry guys i m praying for you. Please select some experience guys like Huges, White, Huritz, and for fast man where is the king of speed Bret Lee. I think he is Playing for NSW regularly and make them winnign games so why he can't do it for National team. Bring him back he had a big responsibility.

  • Raworth_Rabbitohs on December 9, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    Why is there all this talk about dropping players? Sure, North and Doherty need to go, but Bollinger has been our best bowler for the past year. Keep the main structure of the team, and bring in guys that will be there in a few years( Copeland, Cameron, Khawaja, ect.) to train with the squad for experience.

  • havocsat on December 9, 2010, 10:15 GMT

    Random brutal spells by Johnson :)... !!! Random for sure... brutal is indeed query?... I hope he finds his form... Good luck to him...

  • on December 9, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    Breet Lee should come in....i reckon..why are they keeping him out?yes the team looks better with white..but u never know north could come bak..

  • on December 9, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    I wouldn't select either Smith or North... If Michael Clarke is truly fit, he'd be able to bowl a bit in Perth, if required. CA should look at Michael Klinger, who admittedly hasn't had the best summer thus far domestically, but neither has anyone in the Aussie top 6, other than Mike Hussey. As for who should replace Simon Katich at the top of the order, CA should at least consider Tom Cooper from Sth Aust.

  • on December 9, 2010, 9:33 GMT

    Greg Chappel as Coach of Indian Team messed with the team and what happened thereafter was there for everyone to see. History seems to be repeating itself. Now Greg in the thick of Australian Cricket team selection process has already started messing with Australian team. God save Australia Cricket team!

  • Salim_123 on December 9, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    What still Marcus North!!! i do not know what hold he has over the selectors. Please bring in either Khwaja or Ferguson. I support johnson inclusion. Champions League has taken toll on bollinger

  • Micgyver on December 9, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    The team NEEDS to be Hughes,Watson,Ponting,Hussey,Clarke,Haddin,Smith,Johnson,Harris,Siddle,Hilfenhaus.4 fast bowlers with,Smith,and possibly clarke to bowl spin.

  • StarveTheLizard on December 9, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    I will be very surprized if North is not picked for the Perth test. I pay attention to form unlike our selectors. The current panel have shown their's consistently. Dump bowlers like hot potatoes but keep the batting lineup intact. They will come out with a reason for retaining him. I suspect it will be "knowledge of local conditions" or not wanting to" affect the team equilibrium". I so hope I am wrong!

  • kardon on December 9, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    Also the person calling for Nathan Bracken to come into the team. I am pretty sure he has not played any cricket for a long while. The logical thing would be a team picked on current form not reputation. Thus you would think it would include Copeland who is averaging 5 wickets a game at under 19 (albeit in a lesser competition) Or even chris swan the QLD all rounder who is averaging 12 per wicket this season. 22 from 4 games. Siddle was never a strike bowler, Hilfenhaus isnt a strike bowler either. I would consider harris a strike bowler and bolinger but they are both carrying injuries be it minor or major. I guess for a stronger batting team you would drop north for d. hussey or Usman, Then go o'keef as the spinner, johnson as the number8, harris as the 9. So you more or less have batting depth up til 10 and 11 who will not have much to offer the scorers.

  • kardon on December 9, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    Smith is still raw. He has not mastered his game yet. Far from it. He doesnt have the control to keep an end quiet or the game to spin the ball fiercely. Many of his wickets come through batsmen attacking him and getting it wrong more so then great bowling. O'Keef on the other hand can spin it. Has had success against the poms 4-80 odd in the Australia tour game, and made runs in both innings and also every one of his 12 first class games follow this pattern. Too bad he has been stuck behind the likes of Macgill, Haurits, Casson, Krejza etc or else he would have had 30 odd games under his belt and we would really know what he is like. I think if you drop North you want a batsmen that can make consistent hundreds cause the form of ponting and clarke is not that predictable. For that reason I would have Marsh opening who is in great form and David Hussey who a few years back was averaging over 65 and can make centuries fast. The other option is Usman who is averaging over 60 this year.

  • masterblaster1971 on December 9, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    It simply doesn't matter what Australia do now, it's match point about to be game set and match England.

  • on December 9, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    Australia should Drop North....and give chance to new Guns like Usman Khawaja , White , Callum Ferguson,,,,,,,,,,,,How India Develop the best team of young Guns.......If Sachin Tendulkar ,Virender Sehwag ,Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman these Player Retire from international Cricket than India have Back up player now like Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohl,Suresh Raina,M Vijay,Rohit Sharma.So Australia Should think like India........

  • freddyfreddy on December 9, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    Here's a bit of a left field opinion...

    My team: Phillip Hughes, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Steven Smith (12th man).

    Haddin as captain because he reminds me of Border with his stocky stature and looks of disdain. And if Watson HAS to open instead of Marsh, put Smith at 6. Also difficult to leave D Hussey out.

    Future team: Phillip Hughes, Shaun Marsh, Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson, Steve Smith, Tim Paine, Steve O'Keefe, Trent Copeland, Mark Cameron, Josh Hazlewood, Michael Clarke (12th man, haha).

    Future captain could be Steve Smith because he seems prepared to take risks rather than sitting on the fence like our current captain and vice captain.

  • Aussieslover on December 9, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    Why can't they forget about North even after two matches of constant failure. Bring in Smith instead of North. Everybody heard Warne telling that Smith is still far away form a good cricketer....but obviously he is not correct. Don't listen to Warne. Instead listen to both the Chappel brothers... put them both in the selection panel and you will find Australia dominating 'World Cricket' again. Bring in four pacers.... Harris, Hilfy, Bollinger and Johnson. These four look ver dangerous. Finally.. Hughes is already in, no problem about that. So if I would select my 13 it would be( according to the batting order and replacements. 1.Watson 2.Hughes 3.Ponting 4.Clarke 5.Hussey 6.Smith 7.Haddin 8.Johnson 9.Harris 10.Hilfenhaus 11.Bollinger

    Extras 12.Hauritz 13.Siddle

  • diss on December 9, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    Batsmen = Watson, Hughes (Marsh if you're really worried about his form), Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin, Smith (or Khawaja/White if you really have that much faith in Hauritz). Bowlers = Hauritz, Harris, Hilfenhaus, Siddle. Replace Hilf/Siddle with Johnson if he's up to it, Copeland if you feel like rolling the dice, and Lee if he's up to it and you feel like rolling the dice! If the selectors deviate from this rather broad selection of players or retain North/Doherty I will explode.

  • anver777 on December 9, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    Currently Aussie side is confused what to do & how to do......their major issue is to get the right selection for the remaining matches....... I think its not a bad idea to bring back Philip Hughes or Jacques to open with Watson & drop North & bring Ferguson for the middle order & replace Doherty with Smith or Hauritz.........

  • Rahul_78 on December 9, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    Just wonder why nobody is discussing Cameron White and Andrew Mcdonald. Are they below the ladder then Hughes, North and Khwaja?

  • Yotta on December 9, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    @singh not 'much' problem with the batting... need we be reminded we just got beaten by an innings (theoretically with 15 wkts in hand) and 71 runs... That is a comprehensive victory in all departments. Had the batsmen put a real total on the board over day 1->2 more aggressive fields and bowling could have been employed. Sadly from here draws are as good as wins for England, so needing 2 wins from 3 games I can't see us coming back. Sadly we have a team that in form could destroy any team in the world but since the SA tour hasn't really shown that. As much as I'd like a better option, I think Hauritz with career best bowling and batting performances in the past week or so has shown he should not have been dropped for this series and deserves a recall. As much as North deserved his cap a decade ago, I feel his position in the team would have been much better used blooding young talent to test cricket, so we had a pool of semi-experienced youngsters to step in for times like this.

  • MinusZero on December 9, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    scans show no significant damage. Does that mean there is some damage though??

  • dkverma on December 9, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    After the ICC Word Cup 20-Twenty Final between AUS & ENG. AUS go down in every format of game of Cricket, when he losses ICC World Cup 20-Twenty final against ENG. After that AUS performance is brust in the history of his Cricket. Going down his performance.... every time. (1) Against Ireland in only one ODI AUS fighting. (2) Against ENG in ODI Series losses 3-2. (3) Against PAK two 20-Twenty International Match losses 2-Nil. (4) Against PAK Test Series Draw 1-1. (5) Against IND Test Series losses 2-Nil. (6) Against IND in ODI Series losses 1-Nil while two Matches abandoned due to heavy rain. (7) Against SRI LANKA only one 20-Twenty international match loss. (8) Against SRI LANKA in ODI Series losses 2-1. (9) Against ENG in ASHEH Horrible & Terrible Batting & Bowling. This is the Real Story of AUS Cricket Team. One questioned is occure in every Cricket fan what happened in Australia Cricket Team, and what r doing Australia Cricket Boart Right Now.

  • Rahul_78 on December 9, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    M Hussey,C White,B Haddin,N Hauritz Looks much better then M Hussey,M North,B Haddin,Z Doherty in lower middle order. And could OZ supporters please tell me weather U Khwaja, B Hodge, A Mcdonald and C White are inferior cricketers to M North?

  • sanzo5 on December 9, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    I would suggent nathan bracken and cameroon white insted of hilfenoue and north... bracken can take wickets and also reduce the flow of runs.. with the bowling line up of bracken, watson, siddle and harris with hauritz there is no need for another bit and pieces batsmen like north.. white is in a better form and brings more energy in the fielding unit... clarke should bat at no 3 and ponting at no 5 with hussey at 4 and white at 6... haddin can come in at seven.. marsh should open the innings with watson.... so the team should be S. Marsh, watson, clarke, hussey, ponting, C.white(even D.hussey can be considered for his experience) haddin, hauritz, harris, bracken, siddle.. 12th man johnson

  • nzcricket174 on December 9, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    I loved the term "random brutal spells".

  • ashokpati on December 9, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    I THINK ANY OF THE REPLACEMENTS WON'T HAVE ANY EFFECT ON ENGLAND AS THEY ARE FAR BEHIND A BETTER TEAM THAN AUSSIE AT THE MOMENT AND THEY WILL WIN THE CURRENT ASHES COMFORTABLY,,SORRY FOR AUSSIE FANS,,,BUT WHAT TO DO,,WAIT FOR NEXT ASHEES....

  • Digimont on December 9, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    I think the 4th test team is easier to pick...

    Hughes, Marsh, Watson, Khawaja, Ferguson, Ponting, Haddin (c), Smith, Christian, Harris, Hilfenhuis

    Just kidding...I'd actually drop Ponting another 7 places..to 13, and pick D.Hussey at 5, moving the others down one.

    Alternatively, the 4th test team could be; Hayden, Langer, Lehmann, M.Waugh, S.Waugh, Martyn, Gilchrist, Warne, Gillespie, May, McGrath

    Serious for a moment, never rated Ponting as a captain (outsmarts himself in the field and is NOT a leader of men) and I shudder at the prospect of Clarke taking over. Warne for all his off field faults, had he became skipper instead of Ponting, would still be playing now.

  • kardon on December 9, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    Copoeland has bowled 33 overs in the current game for 50 odd runs. Something like 1.73 runs per over. He has only taken 2 wickets but I am sure the pressure he has put on the SA batters have created the wickets for smith and henriques.

    Tall skinny and accurate bowler. If copeland isnt the answer then it should be clark. But looking towards the future Copeland can be there for the next 10 years. Stuart clark maybe 1 more year.

  • kardon on December 9, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    I wonder why Trent Copeland is never considered??? I know he has not even played a dozen games but we should be picking players in form. Its not often you can wait for players to reach 32 years old with 15000 runs or 400 wickets before getting their first game.

    Copeland is economical, tall and has an action similar to Mcgrath he is also a wicket taker

    Would be good to have him in the team. Would offer way more then Siddle.

    Also Steven O'Keef is another one never mentioned. Great first calss record. Has never had a bad game although he has only played 12 games or so over 5 years. But Haurist makes the team each week even though he is hot and cold in form

    If it was up to me. O'keef in who is a genuine allrounder with ball, bat and in the field, copeland to do the holding role. And I would either go johnson because he can turn a game with a 6-for off 3 overs or Hilfy who can also hold up and end and wont usually go for 5+ runs an over (like siddle who was getting picked off last game)

  • spur_me_on on December 9, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    COPELAND: Why are we not talking about Trent Copeland?????????? As far as I can see he is our best option to give our side balance. We are lacking the following; 1. A bowler with height to trouble batsman with steep bounce off a good length 2. A bowler to bowl dot balls and maidens and tie up an end 3. A wicket taker who can get us a break through

    Trent COPELAND 1. He is 1.95m tall and garners steep bounce on any surface, the WACA would suit perfectly giving our attack better balance 2. Has a first class cricket economy rate of 2.65 runs per over 3. Has BBI figures of 8/92, has 4 five wicket hauls, 1 ten wicket haul and a strike rate of a wicket every 41 balls!!!!!!

  • on December 9, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    Where is LEE?I think he should be called back if he is available.

  • MaxG9 on December 9, 2010, 5:54 GMT

    Changes I would make: Hughes for Katich. Drop North & put Watson in his slot whilst bringing in a specialist opener like one of Shaun Marsh, Phil Jacques or even David Warner. Replace Doherty with Hauritz & Bollinger with Trent Copeland whilst retaining Siddle & Harris.

  • trepuR on December 9, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    I read in the paper that Oz will go in with a 4 man pace attack (Harris, Hilf, Sid,Johnson) and Steve Smith, because someone close to the Oz team said bowling was the main issue. WHAT ! Adelaide is always a road and the Gabba was exceptionaly flat as well (just look at Oz's second innings). The problem is batting collapses making the bowlers look like they're underperforming more than they truly are. The batting is as fragile as newborn baby and the bowling as toothless as a 120 year old man. I have had a think about it and i believe in going for the dark horses, Brad Hodge, and Shaun Marsh (OK, maybe he isn't so much of a dark horse, but still not favourite). Hodge has proved that he can performunder pressure, while all of our other middle order hopefulls have collapsed into a quivering wreck as soon as the spotlight has shone on them. Marsh, because he has a more conventional technique and is more conistent than Hughes. Watto Marsh Punter Clarke Huss Hadd Haury Harris Hilf Bolli

  • Team_Doctor on December 9, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    Why on earth is no-one in the selection panel talking about:

    1) Trent Copeland coming into the team in place of Bollinger.

    2) Ricky Ponting dropping down to 4 or 5 so he can be protected from the newer ball and score some bug runs against the older ball. Tendulkar does not bat 3, nor do Kevin Pietersen or Jaques Kallis. It is only his ego that makes him insist on remaining at 3. He is of no value whatsover if he is dismissed for less than 10 in two innings of a test combined, while opposition players make big hundreds or double hundreds. Age has caught up with him. Clarke should be elevated to 3 with Ponting moving to 4, or Khawaja could come in and play at 3, with Ponting and Clarke batting 4 and 5.

    PS If Ricky wanted North to be carried, he would have had to have made some runs himself. We cannot have two out of form batsmen in our lineup when all of England's batsmen are in form.

  • MinusZero on December 9, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    Johnson needs game time to show if anything has changed. I hope they do play him and England continue to smash him, then maybe the selectors will wake up

  • on December 9, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    australia played like bangladesh...what a great stat 1137 runs in 6 wickets.england completly dominate dis series. I think they sholud call David warner T20 specialist and by adding sum fast runs like ..oohhooo not like but by somehow put sum pressure on british bowling trio..they need sum new bwlers and new captain..i am very disappointed with the performance of austrailians in dis ashes...buck up dudes..don't play like minnows

  • v_singh on December 9, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    I think it was not fair to have dropped Hilffy for the 2nd test. Aussie line up for 3rd test should be something like : Watson, Hughes, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, North (as a spin bowler), Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Bollinger & Hilfenhaus.. (4 pace bowlers and 1 spinned who can bat a bit !!) - they need 5 bowlers to take wickets - i do not see 'much' problem with batting... they would also fire if their bowlers are able to take wickets.. if opponents pile up 600 odd runs, any batting line up would feel pressurized...

  • PaddyRasta on December 9, 2010, 3:52 GMT

    The spin solution will be to bring back Hauritz and Steven Smith for North. Smith is in better form than North with the bat; is a brilliant fielder and took 4 for 57 for NSW in the current match - He is also full of much needed energy and enthusiasm.

  • PlayingItStraight on December 9, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    Unfortunately I think Peter English is correct and the selectors probably won't make any unforced changes, so the injured Simon Katich and ineffective Xavier Doherty will probably be the only two players omitted. Marcus North should be dropped and replaced with an allrounder to strengthen both the batting and the bowling, but as the old saying goes "it's harder to get out of the Australian team than in to it". Come on selectors, stop sitting on your hands and make some tough calls or before we know it we will have lost the Ashes 4-0, with all the same poor performing players still getting a game.

  • landl47 on December 9, 2010, 3:33 GMT

    It would be ludicrous to bring back Johnson after one test without having bowled in a game at all. How does net practice fit him for going against what is proving to be a strong English batting line-up? If I was a selector I'd want to see at least 2 games, 4 innings, of consistent work before considering Johnson again. Of course, as an England supporter I'd be delighted to see him back. If this article is right, Austalia will be going into the test without their two leading wicket-takers so far. Australia have only taken 16 wickets (out of a possible 40) and Siddle and Doherty have taken 9 of those. Fair enough, Doherty has looked out of his depth, but Siddle has produced the only spell of productive bowling the Aussies have had. It should be Harris, Hilfenhaus and Siddle for Perth. If it's anything else, I'll be very happy.

  • on December 9, 2010, 3:26 GMT

    I hope you arecwrong with this squad with regard North and the bowlers. Johnson and Hilfenhaus should show form in shield cricket before being considered. I would have a 13 of Watson Hughes Ponting Clarke Hussey Khawaja/White Haddin Hauritz Harris Siddle Copeland/Cameron.

  • RJHB on December 9, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    They just can't keep letting North off the hook for his constant failures. He's just not up to Test cricket when the heat is really on. Forget about the spinner, get no.6 right then worry about spin!

  • katandthat3 on December 9, 2010, 3:09 GMT

    Thankfully Harris is fit. Hilfy will be handy in Perth and Mitch is Mitch - hopefully we get the good one. I'm worries we've filled hi head with too much before the 3rd test instead of letting him rip in a shield game. Time will tell. I'd still have Shaun Marsh as opener with Watto. They have opened together in ODI's, he has been more consistent over the past few seasons, has more first class under his belt, has scored runs this year, will be on his home track, excellent player on both front and back foot etc etc. Give him a decent crack at it. Hughesy can come in when they move Watto to the middle order. Probably Hauritz in for Doherty (wouldn't mind Smith but don't expect miracles with him). Just hope they keep Doherty in the ODI set up as he can be very handy in that format.

  • on December 9, 2010, 3:03 GMT

    I say drop North for a more consistant batsman, shuan marsh as a no. 6? You never know! David Warner in the future maybe!

  • on December 9, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    Australia needs to recall Hauritz, Stuart Clark could also be a gamble with his tight bowling to pressure the free scoring England team but Ponting needs to step up and score some big runs that will boost the teams confidence alot...............there's nothing like a captain's innings

  • on December 9, 2010, 2:05 GMT

    Phillip Hughes IS A BIG CHANGE

  • on December 9, 2010, 2:02 GMT

    Marcus North never scores runs when it is needed. The last day of the last test was the perfect chance for him to show his mettle but he failed again. They should pick Phil Hughes to replace Katich. Johnson should come back in as well as Hauritz and they may as well play Steve Smith because he can't do much worse than North with the bat and England generally struggle against wrist spinners. He also has good aggression and is very competitive which is what this Australian side need more of instead of all this "executing plans" rubbish they go on about. Also "being good around the group" shouldn't justify selection because that means nothing when you're being hammered by an innings and so many runs.

  • Webba84 on December 9, 2010, 1:54 GMT

    No, for the love of all that is good in cricket! No reprieves for North! Make him earn the spot by actually performing for a change.

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  • Webba84 on December 9, 2010, 1:54 GMT

    No, for the love of all that is good in cricket! No reprieves for North! Make him earn the spot by actually performing for a change.

  • on December 9, 2010, 2:02 GMT

    Marcus North never scores runs when it is needed. The last day of the last test was the perfect chance for him to show his mettle but he failed again. They should pick Phil Hughes to replace Katich. Johnson should come back in as well as Hauritz and they may as well play Steve Smith because he can't do much worse than North with the bat and England generally struggle against wrist spinners. He also has good aggression and is very competitive which is what this Australian side need more of instead of all this "executing plans" rubbish they go on about. Also "being good around the group" shouldn't justify selection because that means nothing when you're being hammered by an innings and so many runs.

  • on December 9, 2010, 2:05 GMT

    Phillip Hughes IS A BIG CHANGE

  • on December 9, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    Australia needs to recall Hauritz, Stuart Clark could also be a gamble with his tight bowling to pressure the free scoring England team but Ponting needs to step up and score some big runs that will boost the teams confidence alot...............there's nothing like a captain's innings

  • on December 9, 2010, 3:03 GMT

    I say drop North for a more consistant batsman, shuan marsh as a no. 6? You never know! David Warner in the future maybe!

  • katandthat3 on December 9, 2010, 3:09 GMT

    Thankfully Harris is fit. Hilfy will be handy in Perth and Mitch is Mitch - hopefully we get the good one. I'm worries we've filled hi head with too much before the 3rd test instead of letting him rip in a shield game. Time will tell. I'd still have Shaun Marsh as opener with Watto. They have opened together in ODI's, he has been more consistent over the past few seasons, has more first class under his belt, has scored runs this year, will be on his home track, excellent player on both front and back foot etc etc. Give him a decent crack at it. Hughesy can come in when they move Watto to the middle order. Probably Hauritz in for Doherty (wouldn't mind Smith but don't expect miracles with him). Just hope they keep Doherty in the ODI set up as he can be very handy in that format.

  • RJHB on December 9, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    They just can't keep letting North off the hook for his constant failures. He's just not up to Test cricket when the heat is really on. Forget about the spinner, get no.6 right then worry about spin!

  • on December 9, 2010, 3:26 GMT

    I hope you arecwrong with this squad with regard North and the bowlers. Johnson and Hilfenhaus should show form in shield cricket before being considered. I would have a 13 of Watson Hughes Ponting Clarke Hussey Khawaja/White Haddin Hauritz Harris Siddle Copeland/Cameron.

  • landl47 on December 9, 2010, 3:33 GMT

    It would be ludicrous to bring back Johnson after one test without having bowled in a game at all. How does net practice fit him for going against what is proving to be a strong English batting line-up? If I was a selector I'd want to see at least 2 games, 4 innings, of consistent work before considering Johnson again. Of course, as an England supporter I'd be delighted to see him back. If this article is right, Austalia will be going into the test without their two leading wicket-takers so far. Australia have only taken 16 wickets (out of a possible 40) and Siddle and Doherty have taken 9 of those. Fair enough, Doherty has looked out of his depth, but Siddle has produced the only spell of productive bowling the Aussies have had. It should be Harris, Hilfenhaus and Siddle for Perth. If it's anything else, I'll be very happy.

  • PlayingItStraight on December 9, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    Unfortunately I think Peter English is correct and the selectors probably won't make any unforced changes, so the injured Simon Katich and ineffective Xavier Doherty will probably be the only two players omitted. Marcus North should be dropped and replaced with an allrounder to strengthen both the batting and the bowling, but as the old saying goes "it's harder to get out of the Australian team than in to it". Come on selectors, stop sitting on your hands and make some tough calls or before we know it we will have lost the Ashes 4-0, with all the same poor performing players still getting a game.