Smith ‘quite surprised’ at dumping of Hauritz for Ashes opener

Sunday, November 21, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian all-rounder Steven Smith has said that he is “quite surprised” at the dumping of off-spinner Nathan Hauritz in favour of uncapped left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty.

Doherty has been included in Australia’s 13-man squad for Thursday’s first Ashes Test in Brisbane.

“Nathan Hauritz has had a pretty long run and I think he’s done pretty well. His record speaks for itself, for the last 18 months he’s done a really good job,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Smith, as saying.

“That’s why I was quite surprised to see he missed out. But Xavier has been bowling well and he’s going to probably get his chance up in Brisbane now and have his chance to prove what he’s got,” he added.

The 21-year-old further said that if given the chance, he would perform well as Australia’s No.1 spinner.

“Yeah, I think I can take that role, definitely. Early on when I played over in England against Pakistan when Nathan was injured, the signs were certainly pointing that way,” Smith said.

“But I guess coming back, Xavier’s done well. I’d like to get in the team as a genuine all-rounder, whether it be batting at six or batting at seven or something like that and bowling as well,” he added.

Earlier, Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch had backed Doherty’s selection saying that the “exciting young talent” would provide variety in the bowling attack.

“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 had said. (ANI)

Filed under: Sports

will not be displayed