Oz Ashes disaster looms as batsmen crumble in domestic games ahead of opener

Thursday, November 18, 2010

SYDNEY - Members of Australia’s 17-man provisional Ashes squad, who are taking part in domestic games, have ended up with failures ahead of the first Ashes Test, starting in Brisbane from November 25.

Playing for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield, captain Ricky Ponting was caught behind for seven off the bowling of New South Wales’ Trent Copeland.

Australia and New South Wales’ openers Shane Watson and Simon Katich have each failed for a second time.

Watson was run out for 15 off 32 balls, while Katich, batting at No.3 after sustaining a shoulder injury on day one, made a scratchy 36 off 76 balls.

Watson had scored six in the first innings, while Katich had scored one.

Michael Hussey was dismissed for a duck at the MCG when the West Australian was caught at second slip against Victoria.

Fellow under-fire Test batsman Marcus North scored 17 in the same game for Western Australia, the Telegraph reports.

The experienced campaigners may be relieved as middle-order hopes Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson failed to impress by scoring 13 and seven respectively for Australia A against England.

It was also a disappointing outing for fringe candidates Phillip Hughes and Cameron White.

Hughes failed once again, falling for just two after edging a rising ball from fast bowler Chris Tremlett to Andrew Strauss at first slip.

White (five from 23 balls) was clean-bowled by Tremlett with a ball that jagged in slightly and uprooted off-stump.

All-rounder Steven Smith scored 59 in the same warm-up game.

Earlier, Cricket Australia’s National Selection Panel (NSP) Chairman Andrew Hilditch had said that the provisional squad for the first Test would be reduced to a 12 or 13-man squad at the conclusion of the Australia ‘A’ match and this week’s three Sheffield Shield matches. (ANI)

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