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Steve Smith intends to make England lament the day he rejected their invitation to wear their Three Lions after being named to replace Marcus North as the home team’s No.6 batsman and part-time bowler.
Smith, who took 4-112 and then belted a match-sealing 46 in the victory over South Australia at the SCG, was asked to align himself to England five years ago when the English became aware the promising leg-spinner’s mother was born there after he snared a Shane Warne-like 6-14 for Surrey’s Second XI against Kent.
It was seen by many as a short-cut to playing Test cricket, but Smith remained true to the dream that was fostered in a backyard ”hit” when he was only four years old to one-day play for Australia in an Ashes series.
Full story: Sydney Morning Herald
Steve Waugh occupied the No 6 position with much distinction. Image via Wikipedia
England have bested Australia in almost all aspects of the game in the first two Ashes Tests, but one area where the home team will feel particularly let down is the No.6 position in the batting line-up. Luminaries such as Steve Waugh, Allan Border and even the current captain, Ricky Ponting, have occupied that position with much distinction, but the current incumbent, Marcus North, isn’t a jot on those names.
On the other hand, England’s Ian Bell has fitted into that position superbly: his 76 at the Gabba was the highest score of England’s first innings and helped them achieve a semblance of respectability, while in Adelaide he took full advantage of an already demoralised Australian attack, helping himself to anunbeaten 68. So while Australia’s No.6 has mustered 49 runs in three innings in the series so far, England’s has scored 144 and been dismissed once.
Full story: CricInfo
Ben Hilfenhaus is also back in contention. Image via Wikipedia
Unkown West Australian spinner Michael Beer is the bolter in Australia’s 12-man squad for the third Ashes beginning in Perth next Thursday.
Beer replaces fellow left-arm tweaker Xavier Doherty while Marcus North and Doug Bollinger have also been dropped from the team which lost the second Test in Adelaide by an innings and 71 runs on Tuesday.
Despite poor form for NSW this season Phil Hughes has been chosen to replace the injured Simon Katich while Steve Smith has replaced North following a strong bowling performance for NSW against South Australia with his leg-spinners.
Ben Hilfenhaus, 12th man in Adelaide, remains in the squad and is expected to play while Mitchell Johnson has been recalled.
Beer, 26, made his debut for WA this season and has played just five first-class matches, claiming 16 wickets at an average of 40.
Full story: The Australian
Marcus North, Doug Bollinger and Xavier Doherty have been axed, and Australia’s selectors have sprung a major surprise by naming the little-known spinner Michael Beer in their 12-man squad for the Perth Test. Phillip Hughes has been picked to replace the injured Simon Katich, while Steven Smith is a strong chance to play after no other specialist batsman was named to replace North.
Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus are also likely to come back in to the side in what could be a four-man pace attack with Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle, who the selectors considered the best of the bowlers in the Adelaide loss. But it’s the inclusion of Beer that will raise eyebrows, especially with Nathan Hauritz fresh from a first-class century and five-wicket haul for New South Wales.
Full story: CricInfo
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David Hussey is as close as he’s ever been to playing Test cricket and has implored the national selectors to pick him for next week’s Third Test in Perth.
On the eve of Victoria’s three-day match against England, the usually self-depracating Victorian batsman sent a loud and clear message that he can do the job for Australia.
Hussey, 33, is one of a number of batsman – including his own teammate Cameron White – touted as the right man to fill the No.6 batting spot in an Australian Test side that was flogged by an innings and 71 runs in the second Test in Adelaide.
With opener Simon Katich out through injury and No.6 Marcus North under threat of being dropped, Hussey made no bones about declaring his credentials for the job.
“First and foremost I’ve played 10 years of first class cricket, I have 150 games under my belt, so I have lots of experience and I think I’m ready to go,” Hussey, the younger brother of in-form Test incumbent Michael, said before the Bushrangers’ final training session.