Cricket: Ponting wins race for Test selection

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The Independent Online
THE FAST bowler Jason Gillespie and the dashing batsman Ricky Ponting were named this morning in the 12-man Australian squad to play England in the first Test starting in Brisbane on Friday.

Australia's daunting pace attack will consist of Gillespie, who returns from injury, Michael Kasprowicz, and Glenn McGrath, with the swing bowler Damien Fleming providing support.

With Shane Warne likely to miss the first two Tests, the Australian selectors have chosen the leg-spinner Stuart MacGill to lead the slow bowling attack, which has so often baffled the Englishmen in recent series.

The selection of Ponting ahead of Darren Lehmann follows a determined tussle during the successful Pakistan tour for the final batting position for Australia, who have won the last five Ashes series.

The squad will gather in Brisbane tomorrow and train at the Gabba ground on Wednesday and Thursday.

AUSTRALIA SQUAD (v England, Brisbane, starting Friday): M A Taylor (capt), S R Waugh, M J Slater, J L Langer, M E Waugh, R T Ponting, I A Healy (wkt), J N Gillespie, D W Fleming, S C G MacGill, G D McGrath, M S Kasprowicz.

Brian Lara hit an impressive century to put the West Indies on top on the second day of their four-day match against Griqualand West in Kimberley yesterday. The West Indian captain made 101 as the tourists reached 327 for 6 at the close in reply to Griqualand West's 271 all out. Lara's 36th first-class century was scored off 126 balls with 16 fours and two sixes.

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