Ponting calls for Hughes as Waugh hits out at selectors

Captain says diminutive opener is 'first cab off the rank' as Katich replacement

Ricky Ponting has endorsed Phillip Hughes to replace Simon Katich for the third Ashes Test in Perth. Katichis unlikely to play any further part in the series with an Achilles injury and Hughes is the captain's preferred pick at the top of the Australian order.

"Phil Hughes is the first one that comes to mind," Ponting said of the 5ft 7in 22-year-old who had an excellent start to his Test career but has only played two Tests since a disappointing tour of England in 2009. "We know what his international record is like. He's got a few runs under his belt so he's probably the first cab off the rank.

"I'd be surprised if it's not him that comes in. I'm not a selector. The chairman of selectors and I haven't spoken yet. I'm not sure what they're thinking. We'll have a good discussion."

Ponting is confident, however, that regardless of the details of the re-shuffle the eleven that play in Perth will perform. "At the end of the day whatever 11 players are selected I expect they can do the job for Australia," he said. "This week they haven't done that. It's about finding the attitude, because I know the ability is there to get the job done."

Former captain Steve Waugh has admitted that the selectors are "in a quandary" over what to do following the defeat to England at Adelaide, a situation he described as "almost like the shoe is on the other foot".

The win in Adelaide marks first time that England have led in an Ashes series in Australia since they won the first Test in Brisbane in 1986. That was Steve Waugh's ninth appearance of a 168-Test career that later saw him captaining arguably Australia's strongest ever side.

Waugh's advice was that the Australia selectors should stop discarding players so readily and instead should settle on a chosen group for the remainder of the series. After allowing England to escape with a draw in Brisbane, as the visitors reached 517 for 1 declared in their second innings, Australia dropped Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus, replacing them with Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris.

This approach was no more incisive, however, as England declared on 620 for 5 in the next Test. "I don't know what the selectors are going to do, because they have chopped and changed I think probably too much in the last 12 months," Waugh said.

"You just look at the bowling. They've got through so many bowlers: Clint McKay, Peter George, then we've got Hilfenhaus and Johnson. Where do you go if you've just discarded these guys?"

Drawing on the lessons of the 1980s, Waugh advocated a patient approach. England won in 1986-87 but it was a formative moment in the careers of not just Waugh but a generation of players who went on to win the next eight Ashes series.

"This is a situation similar to back in '85-'86 when the selectors sat down and thought, 'this is a group of cricketers we're going to stick with through thick and thin and let's back them,'" Waugh said. "They are almost at the point now where they've got to identify players and say 'righto, we're going to stick with them'."

Hughes aside, another member of the 2009 Ashes side who could well be recalled is off-spinner Nathan Hauritz, who yesterday scored an unbeaten century for New South Wales against South Australia at the SCG . "Whenever you're dropped you are always looking to perform well," said the bowler. "I've been lucky enough to take some wickets [seven in the previous Sheffield Shield match] and score some runs but the job's only halfway done.

"I was dropped for not doing my role in the side. I've got to go back to first-class cricket and prove I can do that and restore the faith of the selectors and the captain." After Xavier Doherty's 1 for 158 in Adelaide the return of Hauritz – dropped after a difficult tour of India in October – is a possibility.

Usman Khawaja, the 23-year-old batsman who played for Australia A against England last week, is also playing for New South Wales and scored 53. Hughes, however, only managed to score four.

A less likely recall would be for Shane Warne, who has played down calls for his return. "All I can say is that it is very flattering to hear those words," he said.

The Bowl-Off: Three vie to take over from Broad

England suspect they know the bowler they want to replace Stuart Broad in the third Test in Perth. They are not saying but the indications are that Chris Tremlett, similar height with similar length and similar bounce may be favourite.

Nor is it a done deal whoever is in the management's mind. They are keen to scrutinise all three reserve pacemen in the tour match in Melbourne supposed to begin in the early hours UK time tomorrow and all have something to prove. The man who receives the selectorial nod will almost certainly take the new ball with Jimmy Anderson, since Steve Finn is not considered yet to be sufficiently accurate.

Flower has been a champion of Finn's since he first surprisingly plunged him overnight into Test cricket in Bangladesh last March. But he also recognises his limitations at present.

"I have been very impressed with him he since first played international cricket, I think he has handled it really well," said Flower. "He's a young man and he is nowhere near to fulfilling his potential at the moment."

Broad took only two wickets in the two Tests but he still roughed up Australia's batsmen with his awkward lift and menacing length. Flower will be eager for his replacement to duplicate that.

Chris Tremlett

He had been out of Test cricket for three years until he was picked for this Ashes squad. Thought by some to be too gentle of demeanour and to lack purpose, he impressed the new bowling coach, David Saker, last summer when he took 50 wickets for Surrey. It should be remembered that when he played his three Test matches against India in 2007, he looked as though he belonged in international cricket.

Flower said: "He brings you heavy bounce with the ball coming from that height. He bowls a consistent length and gives you bounce. He's not express pace but it's imposing as a batsman when someone of that height and size is running in at you. He will bring consistency with that bounce. I think that's why he did well in this last English summer, because he bowled a consistent length."

Tim Bresnan

For many pundits, some of them former professional bowlers, Bresnan does not tick enough boxes. He is too slow, too pedestrian, too short and with not enough firepower all round. But the England management would disagree and Bresnan is a confident performer who is much quicker than he often looks. He is also an intelligent performer. Still only 25 he has been around for eight years and has a healthy confidence in his own ability. And he can bat.

Flower said: "He is an experienced cricketer even though he's relatively young. He's a strong man, he's accurate, he bowls skilful reverse swing and he bats and fields well. In some quarters he's viewed as a medium pacer but he bowls quick enough to beat good players. He's got a quick bouncer."

Ajmal Shahzad

He will forever be enshrined as the first Yorkshire-born Asian to play for the county. He has only become properly established in the last two years. But he is perky and robust with decent swing and was highly impressive in his only Test appearance to date at Old Trafford last year.

Flower said: "He bowls very well at left-handers, we saw that in Hobart. That doesn't mean to say he's not effective against right-handers, but he's more dangerous against left-handers. Again, he's got enough pace to beat good players and when the ball reverses he can reverse it both ways. He is fit and strong and can run in for you all day."

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone