Pace could be best option at Joburg, says Booth

February 24th, 2009 - 5:10 pm ICT by ANI  

Johannesburg, Feb.24 (ANI): Australian cricket selector David Boon has hinted that pace could be best option for the visitors in the upcoming first Test against the South Africans in Johannesburg.
Boon isn”t so sure that the Wanderers pitch will suit a leg-spinner such as Bryce McGain.
Boon said all 14 members of Australia’’s touring party were in the mix for spots in the side, although off-spinner Nathan Hauritz appears a rank outsider.
He added selectors had to make a call on retaining left-arm quick Doug Bollinger or replacing him with Tasmanian Ben Hilfenhaus.
He felt both bowled well in last week’’s drawn three-day game in Potchefstroom against a South Africa President’’s XI.
It was a difficult wicket for them to bowl on and I suppose in a way we”ve probably got a choice to make there and it’’s not going to be an easy one,”” Boon said.
That leaves 12 players so the remaining question would be whether Australia play off-spinner Marcus North and medium-pacer Andrew McDonald as all-rounders at No.6 and No.7 with three fast bowlers, or have McDonald make way for fellow Victorian McGain.
We have looked at the history of the last six or eight Tests at Johannesburg,”” Boon said.
It’’s essentially a seamer’’s wickets where the new ball will seam around a bit. It will swing as well.
Spinners can have a role but they don”t appear to have had a massive impact in Test matches here. I notice in the last five (matches) spinners have taken 10 wickets.
McGain, the 36-year-old who missed out on his Test debut in India last year because of a shoulder injury, maintains side spin isn”t his only weapon.
Where there is seam movement, the ball certainly spins as well,”” McGain said.
Boon said McDonald and Warriors skipper North, who dominated last week’’s tour game with two half-centuries and 6-69 with his off-spinners, had plenty to offer the Test side. (ANI)

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