Melbourne, Dec.18 : Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait and finger spinner Brad Hogg have been selected by the Australian selectors to do duty in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to be here next week.
According to The Australian, only eleven can play and everyone is waiting to see whether the selectors will gamble and include tearaway Tait.
Hogg replaces an injured Stuart MacGill.
There have been calls from some quarters to play four seamers: Brett Lee, Stuart Clark, Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait.
Others, including former captain Steve Waugh, have pushed for the inclusion of Hogg.
With Andrew Symonds twice having injured his ankle recently and Michael Clarke suffering hamstring tightness there is more weight to the argument for the inclusion of a spinner to help the seamers get through two innings as the two part timers may not have a lot of overs in them.
Some are suggesting that Johnson might be told to stand aside for Tait, which would be a cruel blow to the young Queenslander who has impressed in his first two Tests against Sri Lanka.
Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said the final XI would be known once the team had inspected the pitch closer to the match.
"We're obviously very pleased with the Test team results so far this summer, but the injury to Stuart MacGill has forced a change to the side," Hilditch said.
"Brad Hogg replaces MacGill in the squad of 12, based on his Pura Cup performance to date and his consistent performance for the One-Day International team in that form of the game. Brad deserves the opportunity to once again represent Australia in Test cricket.
"The other change is Ben Hilfenhaus, who came into the squad of 13 in Brisbane to replace the then injured Shaun Tait. Shaun regains his place in the Australian squad, having been our initial selection in Brisbane. Now he's fully recovered from injury he retakes his place in the 12."
Squad: Ricky Ponting (c), Adam Gilchrist (vc), Phil Jaques, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Brad Hogg, Michael Clarke. (ANI)
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