Shaun Tait: knocking on first XI door

Steve Waugh has accepted the invitation to lead the Prime Minister's XI against the Indians. Following the announcement last week, that Waugh would lead, Cricket Australia announced a promising team, including four players who played for Australia A recently. They are Mark Cleary, Shaun Tait, Damien Wright, and Marcus North.

Most eyes will be on Tait, the South Australian pace bowler who has been touted as the next big thing. With Brett Lee in such dire form, an impressive performance at the Manuka Oval could even pitchfork Tait into the Australian squad. The team also includes Xavier Doherty, the talented young left-arm spinner, and David Hussey, the middle-order batsman who has been in such good form recently.

Trevor Hohns, the chairman of selectors, said, "The PM's XI continues to grow in popularity and this year's match promises to be one of the very best considering the strength of the current Indian squad."

"We've selected players who have been performing well at a domestic level, and this match gives them an opportunity to show their worth against one of the world's strongest limited-overs teams," added Hohns. "It's good exposure for a lot of the younger guys who haven't as yet had an opportunity to perform at this level."

Mark Waugh led the PM's XI last year, and Hohns was happy that Steve Waugh had the honour this time around. "It's fantastic that Steve will captain the team in what is yet another great honour in an outstanding career. Steve is a player most of these guys would have looked up to as they were coming through the ranks, and I know they will be thrilled to bits to play alongside him."

Australian Prime Minster's XI 1 Cade Brown, 2 Matthew Bradley, 3 David Hussey, 4 Marcus North, 5 Steve Waugh (capt), 6 Andrew McDonald, 7 Chris Hartley (wk), 8 David Cleary, 9 Damian Wright, 10 Xavier Doherty, 11 Shaun Tait

Evan Kellar, from the ACT, has been named as 12th man.