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Injured Australian opener Simon Katich has revealed he is set to make a shock return in time for the fifth Ashes Test, increasing the pressure on Phillip Hughes to find form in the Boxing Day shoot-out in Melbourne.
Katich damaged his achilles tendon during the second Test loss in Adelaide and was initially expected to miss the rest of the summer.
But the veteran left-hander told Sportal on Tuesday that his comeback plans are ahead of schedule and he may be right for the Sydney Test, starting January 3.
Full story: Cricket Australia
Policy has worked for 18 months says Flower
Batsman Kevin Pietersen says England will be better prepared for Australia’s swing bowling in the fourth Ashes Test after their 267-run defeat in Perth.
Australia levelled the series after bowling England out for 187 and 123, Mitchell Johnson taking nine wickets.
“We’ve had great success against swing bowlers in the past,” said Pietersen.
“The ball swings in England throughout the summer so swing bowling’s not a problem. I just don’t think we prepared ourselves for it,” he told BBC 5 live.
Full story: BBC Sport
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Victoria’s two most senior players have endorsed the retention of Australia’s all-pace bowling attack for the Boxing Day Test.
Captain Cameron White and vice-captain David Hussey both support an unchanged side from Perth, despite Melbourne’s conditions not being as overtly suited to pace as the WACA Ground.
Full story: The Age
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland is confident the MCG will host a world-record crowd of 91,000 for Sunday’s opening day’s play of the fourth Ashes Test.
The record of 90,800 was set at the same venue in February 1961 during the fifth Test against the West Indies.
Four years ago the record almost fell despite cold conditions as 89,155 fans attended the opening day of the Melbourne Test despite Australia already holding a 3-0 advantage.
This time, it’s locked at 1-1 with Sutherland admitting he had some nervous moments following Australia’s mixed performances in the first two matches, a draw in Brisbane and an innings defeat in Adelaide.
“The cricket gods are smiling on us all,” Sutherland told a press conference in Melbourne today.
Full story: Herald Sun