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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Aus call up Christian, under-fire Hughes retained for 2nd Test vs NZ

Aus call up Christian, under-fire Hughes retained for 2nd Test vs NZ

December 05, 2011 11:07 IST

Australia are likely to start the second Test against New Zealand unchanged after uncapped all rounder Dan Christian was added to the squad in place of injured 12th man Ben Cutting on Monday.

The Australians wrapped up a nine-wicket victory in the opening Test in Brisbane with more than a day to spare on Sunday and begin the second and final match of the series in Hobart on Friday.

Dan ChristianJames Pattinson retained his place in the squad after taking 5-27 on debut at the Gabba and his fellow fast bowler Mitchell Starc and opening batsman David Warner also look likely to play their second Tests in Tasmania.

"Michael Clarke and his team are buoyant after their convincing victory in Brisbane," chief selector John Inverarity said in a news release.

"James Pattinson's performance on debut will provide a great boost not only to the team as a whole but to those who are new to the team in particular."

Warner's under-fire fellow opener Phil Hughes kept his place in the squad despite making just 10 and seven at the Gabba, where he was caught in the gully in both innings.

Captain Michael Clarke said on Sunday he was unconcerned by the 23-year-old's failure but, in any case, Australia's injury list made his retention almost inevitable.

All rounder Shane Watson, who has combined opening the batting with being one of Australia's main bowling threats, was still not available after suffering a hamstring injury on the recent tour of South Africa.

Other injury-enforced absentees were teenager Patrick Cummins, who took 6-79 on his Test debut in South Africa last month but has a heel problem, and his fellow fast bowlers Ryan Harris (pelvis) and Mitchell Johnson.

Johnson had surgery on his left foot last week and will be out for five months, Harris returns to training this week while Watson and Cummins are expected to be available to face India in the first match in a four-Test series on December 26.

Paceman Cutting, who missed out on his debut after being named 12th man for the first Test, suffered a side strain while playing for Queensland last Friday and is set to be sidelined for at least a month.

Christian, who has Aboriginal heritage, has played three Twenty20 matches for his country and has a first class batting average of 30 as well as 89 wickets in 33 matches.

"It is disappointing for Ben that he will be sidelined for some weeks with a side strain, but this provides an opportunity for Daniel who has been performing well as an all-rounder for South Australia," Inverarity added.

"The balance of a team is always enhanced by the presence of an energetic all-rounder who is in good form."

Squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Phillip Hughes, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Dan Christian.

Source:
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