Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Players Set to Make Debut in Squad

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Players Set to Make Debut in Squad

Article excerpt

THREE uncapped players have are set to debut after being named in Australia's 12-man squad, with Tasmanian pace bowler Ben Hilfenhaus, NSW opening batsman Phil Hughes and Western Australia captain Marcus North .

Australia haven't played three debutants in the same Test match since Merv Hughes, Geoff Marsh and Bruce Reid helped Allan Border's side draw the Adelaide Test against Kapil Dev's India in December 1985.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting expects conditions to favour swing bowlers which could be a pointer towards Hilfenhaus getting the nod, while Victorian all-rounder Andrew McDonald and NSW left-armer Doug Bollinger will also face a nervous wait before the final eleven is named before the toss of the coin.

Vice-captain Michael Clarke did fielding drills and batted in the nets to indicate he has recovered from a back injury which kept him out of last week's tour match in Potchefstroom.

The tourists are shooting for a fourth consecutive Test win at the Wanderers ground, although Ponting is expecting Dale Steyn to play a big role for the home side as last year's leading strike bowler exploits the swing-friendly conditions. …

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