The Australian selectors have made two changes for the Boxing Day Test with NSW spinner Nathan Hauritz recalled to the squad alongside Tasmanian swing bowler, Ben Hilfenhaus.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Hauritz replaced Jason Krejza, who returned match figures of 1-204 in the six-wicket defeat to the Proteas in the first Test in Perth.
Chairman of selectors, Andrew Hilditch, said that Nathan Hauritz’s performance in the Second Test against New Zealand earned the NSW spinner a recall.
“We were impressed with Nathan Hauritz’s bowling in the second Test against New Zealand, where he maintained pressure and took wickets and deserves his recall,” said Hilditch.
Hauritz, 27, has played two Tests, one in India in 2004 and the other against New Zealand in Adelaide last month, when Krejza was injured.
Hilditch added that Hilfenhaus was selected so as to give skipper Ricky Ponting added depth to his new-ball bowling option.
Hilditch said Krejza had leaked too many runs when bowling in Perth, which made it difficult for Australia to maintain pressure on South Africa’s batsmen.
“The national selection panel consider that Jason is a potentially fine spin bowler for Australia, but our view is that in Perth we were unable to maintain pressure and to successfully use our fast bowlers we needed to maintain that pressure at the spinner’s end,” Hilditch said.
“Jason has been informed of this reasoning and has been encouraged to continue to be a wicket-taking spin bowler but will return to interstate cricket to further those skills.”
Veterans Brett Lee and Matthew Hayden retained their places in the squad despite their recent struggles, with Hayden a confirmed starter given no other batsmen were brought into the squad.
However Lee, 32, who returned match figures of 1-132 at the WACA Ground, could find himself replaced by Tasmanian Hilfenhaus, who is yet to play a Test although he has played one one-day international.
Victorian paceman Peter Siddle, another who had little impact in Perth, was also retained, while the 13-man squad also included Queensland allrounder Shane Watson.
Australian team: Ricky Ponting (capt, Tas), Michael Clarke (v-capt, NSW), Matthew Hayden (QLD), Simon Katich (NSW), Michael Hussey (WA), Andrew Symonds (QLD), Shane Watson (QLD), Brad Haddin (NSW), Nathan Hauritz (NSW), Brett Lee (NSW), Mitchell Johnson (QLD), Ben Hilfenhaus (TAS), Peter Siddle (Vic).Tweet