Mick Lewis has been called into Australia's VB Series finals squad as the replacement for Glenn McGrath, who withdrew to be with his sick wife. Lewis was the only change to the 14-man outfit for the best-of-three deciders starting in Adelaide on Friday.
The Australia selectors are prepared to give McGrath as much time off as he needs after his wife Jane was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. McGrath missed Australia's last two preliminary games, which were both victories over South Africa, and there are worries he may miss the early part of the South Africa tour later this month.
Lewis appeared in the Twenty20 international at the Gabba last month and he was also picked in two matches of the Chappell-Hadlee Series in December. "Mick is a quality bowler," Trevor Hohns, the chairman of selectors, said. "We saw in New Zealand at the back end of last year that he can be really effective at the end of an innings. Given the opportunity to play we're confident he'll do a good job." The news was not good for Jason Gillespie, who was in the frame for a call-up after taking 25 Pura Cup wickets this summer at 21.26.
Australia squad Ricky Ponting (capt), Adam Gilchrist (wk), Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Brett Dorey, Brad Hogg, James Hopes, Michael Hussey, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Michael Lewis, Damien Martyn, Andrew Symonds.