Oz may play Boxing Day Test sans spinner

December 23rd, 2008 - 4:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec 23 (ANI): Australian cricket coach Tim Nielsen has said that the team will consider entering the crucial Boxing Day Test against South Africa without a specialist spinner.

Australia has the options of playing four fast bowlers in Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and debutant Ben Hilfenhaus, or selecting a traditional attack of three quicks and spinner Nathan Hauritz.

Nielsen said he favoured the idea of playing a spinner, but would not guarantee Hauritz a start until the Australians had assessed the conditions closer to the game.

Its something well look at. Certainly in the Sheffield Shield matches theyve played here, they havent used spin a lot. Josh Mangan only bowled three overs in a game for Western Australia last week and having had a view of the dismissals that have happened in those games here this year it has been for the quicks, he said.

I said before Perth I like the balance of having a spinner in the side, so … thats the way Id be thinking. But it’’s probably still a little bit early to make that decision yet, Nielsen aaded.

Nielsen and Australian batsman Mike Hussey were also confident out-of-sorts opener Matthew Hayden could rediscover his form and produce another big innings in Melbourne.

Hayden has scored six centuries from his past seven Tests at the MCG, but the 37-year-old has struggled for most of 2008, having scored 282 runs at 23.50 from his past seven matches.

Nielsen said Hayden had not indicated he was contemplating retiring, and wanted to play on in 2009. (ANI)

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