x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Australia want extra slot to test bowlers

Australia are still waiting on a reply from England about their request to field an extra player in their first two tour matches of the Ashes series.

SYDNEY // Australia are still waiting on a reply from England about their request to field an extra player in their first two tour matches of the Ashes series. The visitors have asked the England and Wales Cricket Board whether they can use 12 players instead of 11 in the warm-up games against Sussex and England Lions. Australia made the request because they are still undecided about their line-up of fast bowlers for the Tests and want to compare them under the same match conditions. England made a similar request on their last Ashes visit to Australia, in 2006-07, which was granted by their hosts. Of the five pacemen Australia have selected, only the left-armer Mitchell Johnson is assured of a spot for the first Test. Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus played well in Australia's recent series win in South Africa while the experienced Brett Lee and Stuart Clark have been recalled after recovering from injuries. The captain Ricky Ponting may go for two or three fast bowlers depending on whether they go for the spinner Nathan Hauritz.