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Australian Beer is up for the challenge

The left-arm finger spinner finds himself picked for the crucial third Ashes Test after just five first-class games for his adopted state of Western Australia.

Michael Beer throws the ball during an Australian training session at the WACA yesterday in Perth, Australia. Paul Kane / Getty Images
Michael Beer throws the ball during an Australian training session at the WACA yesterday in Perth, Australia. Paul Kane / Getty Images

The latest spin bowler selected to fill the void left by Shane Warne's retirement has admitted he is not sure he is ready for his Australian Test debut in the third Ashes match against England, which starts on Thursday in Perth.

Michael Beer, the 26-year-old left-arm finger spinner, was third in line for a place in the Victoria side just 12 months ago, but now finds himself picked for the crucial match after just five first-class games for his adopted state of Western Australia.

Beer's selection makes him the 10th specialist spinner to be tried since the retirement of Warne, the leg spinner, who is Australia's record holder for most Test wickets with 708.

Beer, who only made his first-class debut in October, has taken a modest 16 first-class wickets at 39 runs apiece.

Speaking after his first training session for Australia yesterday, Beer conceded he was entering the unknown in making his Test debut. "That is a hard one," Beer said when asked if he was ready for Thursday's game.

"I am looking forward to the challenge. I am confident in my own ability. I think it is just knowing my role and executing it as best I can."

One thing in Beer's favour is that he has played against England, returning match figures of five for 207 from 40.4 overs in the opening tour match last month.

He dismissed Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Matt Prior and Paul Collingwood, all of whom will be playing in Perth on Thursday.

"I think it will definitely help, being in the same surroundings and I'll take a fair bit out of that contest I had with them," he said.

Meanwhile, Nathan Hauritz, the man that Beer's selection kept out of the squad, has reportedly sold some of his Australia kit in a sign he does not expect to play for his country again. Hauritz was seen sitting in front of a cardboard box on Saturday outside his apartment in Sydney's Coogee area, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"I don't play for them anymore," Hauritz said.

Hauritz has played 17 Tests for Australia, taking 63 wickets, since earning his first call-up in 2004 for the Test tour of India in which Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman were among his first wickets.

On the other side of the fence, Andy Flower, the England coach, has been non-committal over England's bowling line-up for the third Ashes Test .

Speculation has been rife on who out of the trio of Chris Tremlett, Tim Bresnan or Ajmal Shahzad will be called up to replace the injured Stuart Broad in Perth when the action starts on Thursday.

English newspapers have reported that Tremlett will be drafted into the side, but Flower said the team will not be announced until tomorrow. "You can't put words in my mouth. It's pretty clear in our minds," he told reporters yesterday. "We've got two days' prep, and we'll tell our squad what the XI is the day before the game."