Australia to rely on pace attack against South Africa

February 25th, 2009 - 7:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Johannesburg, Feb. 25 (ANI): The Australian team has opted for Tasmania swinger Ben Hilfenhaus in place of spinners Nathan Hauritz and Bryce McGain for the first Test against South Africa to be played at the Wanderers Cricket Ground.
Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting will wait till Thursday morning before making the decision on who will be the 12th man, the Fox Sports reports.
Australia could play off-spinner Marcus North at No.6 and Victorian medium-pacer Andrew McDonald at No.7 to complement the three quicks or hand 12 man duties to McDonald and include both Hilfenhaus and Bollinger in a four-man pace battery, led by Johnson and Siddle.
Michael Clarke may not bowl due to his back problems.
North’’s six-wicket haul in last week’’s three-day game against a South Africa President’’s XI has boosted his chances for a debut.
Due to rainfall over the past two months, swing bowling is expected to dominate play.
With, three members of Australia’’s side are yet to play a Test the Australians are all set to field their most inexperienced line-up for 20 years, since Allan Border’’s side played out a draw with the mighty West Indies in Adelaide in 1988-89.
The tourists are shooting for a fourth consecutive Test win at the Wanderers ground. Ponting expects strike bowler Dale Steyn to play a big role for the home side.
If you look at the record here at this ground over the last seven or eight years, a lot of swing bowlers have done very well here. Even up in Potchefstroom last week, with the new ball, it did swing quite a bit for our bowlers, which is a good sign, Ponting said.
Dougie (Bollinger) and Hilfenhaus in particular are two genuine swing bowlers and Peter Siddle at different times can get it going and (Johnson) … is capable of swinging the new ball as well. They”ve got probably Steyn and Jacques Kallis as their two swing bowlers. We”ve got a well-rounded squad to cope with all bases, Ponting added.
If South Africa wins three-test series, Australia will lose the top ranking that it has held for almost six years.
As far as the dynasty thing goes, that’’s obviously what they are planning to achieve, to achieve what the Australian cricket team has been able to achieve over a 10-year period. It’’s just up to us now to make sure we are not handing over that mantle any time soon, Ponting said. (ANI)

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