Michael Beer still not guaranteed to start for Australia
Wednesday 15 December 2010
Michael Beer's fairytale Ashes debut could still be put on ice after Australia captain Ricky Ponting refused to dismiss the possibility of taking four fast bowlers into the third Test in Perth.
Speaking after training today, Ponting said he and coach Tim Nielsen would make a last-minute pitch inspection tomorrow before settling on the make-up of their attack.
With spinner Beer previously believed to be in the side to take Xavier Doherty's position after the Tasmanian struggled to make an impression over the first two Tests, it was thought Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson would fight it out for the three fast-bowling positions.
However, Ponting said taking all four pace bowlers into the game was still a realistic proposition, leaving Beer to possibly carry the drinks.
"We haven't got a team yet," said Ponting.
"We've had a good look at the wicket this afternoon. It's changed a little bit since we've been here today so we want to just want to have a look at it again tomorrow before we finalise what our XI will be."
"(It's) still particularly grassy and I've had a good chat to Cameron (curator Cameron Sutherland) today about the wicket. It's different grass than there's been on the wicket before, so we've got a lot of things that we've got to think about yet before we finalise it.
"Looking at the wicket you'd think there's going to be a result in this game, so obviously that has to be a positive one for us or it's game, set and match."
Ponting felt the type of grass on the WACA wicket may lend some assistance to swing bowlers Harris and Hilfenhaus, possibly indicating Hilfenhaus' inclusion in the team after he was dropped for the Adelaide Test, with Johnson, Siddle and Beer the three other possibilities.
"With a bit of grass on the wicket, there's every chance the ball's going to stay newer for longer than it probably does in most other places," Ponting said.
"So you'd think it's going to swing a bit more, so we've got the bases covered there with Harris and Hilfenhaus being good swing bowlers.
"It's not the thicker sort of coarse grass that was on the wicket here the last couple of years - it's sort of a finer leaf grass.
"When you've got wickets like that, the ball tends to skip off that grass a bit more rather than holding as much, so that's why it's important to actually get a good feel of it tomorrow morning and just see how hard it is on the surface."
"(Selection) is just about what we think is going to be the best four bowlers for us on that wicket - it's as simple as that.
"The fact that Michael's a debutant and whatever, it doesn't come into it. If he's in our four best bowlers for what wicket we see tomorrow morning, then he'll play."
Ponting said the inexperienced Beer, who has only played five first-class matches for Western Australia since moving from Victoria, had managed to have a positive impact on the squad during his first three days with the team.
"I think he's feeling okay," Ponting said.
"He's certainly been nice and energetic around the group the last few days and he's bowled a lot in the nets the last few days.
"We're catching up this afternoon, just to top off all his plans and everything that he's got worked out for the English batsmen.
"He's got a nice infectious personality. He's not shy. I'm sure if he does get his chance to play he'll do a good job for us."
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