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Jaques called into Australia squad

December 20, 2005 14:53 IST

Uncapped batsman Phil Jaques and leg spinner Stuart MacGill have been called into the Australian squad for the second test against South Africa starting in Melbourne next week.

Jaques replaced injured opener Justin Langer while MacGill was recalled at the expense of paceman Stuart Clark, who was named 12th man for the opening test in Perth.

Langer was ruled out after straining a hamstring while batting in Perth, opening the way for the selectors to give Jaques his first chance at test level.

"Phil Jaques virtually demanded selection," Australia's chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said.

"His form has been outstanding for New South Wales over the past few seasons and he thoroughly deserves the opportunity."

Jaques, 26, has played 70 first-class matches in his career, in Australia and England, scoring 6,370 runs at an impressive average of 54.91.

The left-hander has also scored 17 hundreds, including a high score of 237, and has made 400 runs at an average of 50 this season.

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Hohns said the selectors had considered replacing Langer with a middle-order
batsman and moving Mike Hussey up the order but decided they wanted an specialist opener.

Hussey replaced Langer for the first two tests against the West Indies when he broke a rib in practice and scored a century in the second match in Hobart.

But he proved just as successful when moved down to number five, scoring a hundred in the final test in Adelaide then a half-century against South Africa in Perth.

"We have an opener that's injured so we decided we would choose another opener to replace him," Hohns said.

"The other option was to move Mike Hussey up to open again but we considered that wasn't probably appropriate at this stage given that he's making such a good fist of batting in the middle order.

"He's done a wonderful job for us there and we really want to settle that area."
Julian Linden
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