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Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » Australia overhaul bowling unit for Sri Lanka Tests

Australia overhaul bowling unit for Sri Lanka Tests

July 26, 2011 09:56 IST

Australia included three uncapped bowlers in their 15-man squad named on Tuesday for three Tests against Sri Lanka in an overhaul of the unit which was hammered by England in the Ashes debacle.

Spinner Nathan Lyon and quick Trent Copeland were surprise inclusions, while another paceman, James Pattinson, had been expected to be selected for the September Tests after touring with the one-day team to Bangladesh earlier this year.

Nathan LyonOff-spinner Lyon, who has played just a handful of first class matches, will be the 11th spinner to be used in a Test match since Shane Warne retired in 2007 should he make his debut in Sri Lanka.

"Nathan may be a surprise selection, but he impressed all who have seen him in the last year and bowled beautifully (on the A team tour to Zimbabwe)," chief selector Andrew Hilditch said of the 24-year-old.

"He is a young man with immense potential and we feel he will take this opportunity should he get the chance to play in Sri Lanka."

Left-armer Michael Beer, who emerged from obscurity to play in the final Ashes Test, was the other specialist spinner included in the squad but Jason Krejza has been left out after a disappointing tour of Zimbabwe.

"Unfortunately Jason did not bowl as well as we, or I am sure he, would have liked during this tour and therefore he has not been rewarded with selection," said Hilditch.


Ryan Harris returned to the squad after missing the end of the Ashes series through injury but there was no place for his fellow pacemen Doug Bollinger or Ben Hilfenhaus, who struggled against England.

"Ryan Harris has recovered well from injury and deserves to come back after bowling so well during the Ashes series," Hilditch added.

"We have also added two exciting young fast bowlers in Victoria's James Pattinson and New South Wales' Trent Copeland.

"Trent has earned his position with some fine performances for New South Wales and has bowled very well on the Australia A tour.

"James is a young fast bowler with the potential to play an important role for Australia in all three forms of the game and we look forward to watching his further development during this tour."

Top order batsman Shaun Marsh is the fourth uncapped player to be included in the party, which will play Tests in Galle, Kandy and Colombo from Aug. 31.

After the dumping of the experienced Simon Katich, Phillip Hughes will step up to play with Shane Watson in the first-choice opening partnership, Hilditch said.

"We believe the squad has a really good blend of experience and young talented players who we are sure are ready for the challenges ahead," he added.

"Since the immense disappointment of the Ashes series, the coaching staff and playing group have worked tirelessly to prepare for the challenge ahead."

Squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson, Michael Beer, Trent Copeland, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Phillip Hughes, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle.

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