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June 10, 2008
Beau Casson, the left-arm wrist spinner, has been chosen in Australia's third Test team for Thursday's final match of the series against West Indies in Barbados. Stuart MacGill's retirement in Antigua opened a spot for Casson while Brad Haddin will play despite carrying a broken ring finger on his right hand.
"Beau's been named in the eleven ... it's exciting for him," Ricky Ponting told AAP. "He's fitted in extremely well ... he's worked hard and now he's got an opportunity to play in a Test, which is great."
Casson had a strong end to the Pura Cup season to prove to the selectors he was Australia's best option behind MacGill, but he was not expected to play on the tour. He will be the country's 401st Test representative and will be able to operate safe in the knowledge the team, which leads the series 1-0, has already recaptured the Frank Worrell Trophy.
Ponting believes Casson has already benefited from his time with the squad. "He has come along in leaps and bounds as a person," Ponting told AFP. "He has been a little bit more outspoken than at the start of the tour. It has helped his bowling a lot, and if you talk to him, he feels he has become a more consistent bowler now than when he arrived, and this is a good sign for him.
"I have had a pretty close look at him throughout this tour, and I have had a few good chats with him about his bowling. He is pretty eager to learn, but he's well sorted to tell the truth. He knows his stuff pretty well, and it's obvious he's had a fair bit of help along the way."
Luke Ronchi was called into the squad as a shadow player for Haddin, who hurt his hand in the opening Test. However, Haddin refused to succumb to the injury and will battle through the pain in Barbados.
Australia 1 Phil Jaques, 2 Simon Katich, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Michael Clarke, 6 Andrew Symonds, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Brett Lee, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Beau Casson, 11 Stuart Clark.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Stats highlights from the first day of the second Test between Australia and India in Brisbane