Ponting calls on selectors to take quick decision on new Aussie opener

February 4th, 2009 - 4:21 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Feb.4 (ANI): Australias Test selectors should make a quick decision on who will replace Matthew Hayden as opener, said captain Ricky Ponting on Tuesday.
The Australian squad for the three-Test tour of South Africa will be named on Thursday, with boom youngster Phillip Hughes and Phil Jaques the leading contenders to fill the opening vacancy and partner Simon Katich.
The selectors could pick both Hughes and Jaques in a squad numbering either 14 or 15 players and make the call after the only first-class warm-up game in Potchefstrom from February 20-22.
It’’s a tough call as both New South Wales openers have legitimate claims to replace the retired Hayden.
Twenty-year-old Hughes compiled an impressive double of 151 and 82 not out in the recent Sheffield Shield win over Tasmania, while Jaques, 29, made a century in his most recent Test before being sidelined by injury.
“I don”t reckon (the selectors) will pick two openers (in addition to Simon Katich). I think they should make their mind up now and pick whoever they think is going to be the best selection for South Africa and possibly for the Ashes tour as well, The Courier Mail quoted Ponting, as saying.
“Phillip (Hughes) has done absolutely everything in his power to give himself the best chance to be picked. His record for New South Wales in the last couple of years has been outstanding,” he added.
Ponting also acknowledged that Jaques had a compelling case to regain his Test berth, having made 902 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 47.47.
“Obviously one thing in Phil’’s favour is his Test experience and his Test record behind him,” said Ponting. (ANI)

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