Uncapped Doherty, Smith in Oz squad in place of Hauritz for first Ashes Test

Saturday, November 20, 2010

MELBOURNE - The Australian selectors have named uncapped spinners Xavier Doherty and Steve Smith in the 13-man Australian squad for the first Ashes Test, dumping Nathan Hauritz.

Hauritz paid the price for modest form, with Tasmanian left-arm finger-spinner Doherty now having a good chance to follow his recent one-day international debut with a Test debut against England at the Gabba, starting Thursday.

The selectors also included four pacers-Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and Doug Bollinger.

The batting line-up maintained the status quo, with vice-captain Michael Clarke named despite being rested from the Shield game with a back injury, News.com.au reports.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said the squad contained a good blend of experience and youth.

“The squad contains a number of experienced Test players and some exciting young talent and we firmly believe it has the ability to win the first Test of the Ashes series in Brisbane,” Hilditch said.

He said Hauritz could consider himself unlucky. “The NSP (national selection panel) believes the left-arm orthodox variety Xavier Doherty provides against a predominantly right-handed English middle order is the better option in this game,” Hilditch said.

The 13-man squad will gather in Brisbane on Sunday evening.

Squad: Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke (vc), Simon Katich, Shane Watson, Mike Hussey, Marcus North, Brad Haddin, Xavier Doherty, Steve Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Doug Bollinger. (ANI)

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