Australia delay naming squad for vital 3rd Test

Australia will hesitate a last selection on their teams for the 3rd Ashes Test against England, beginning on Thursday at the WACA Ground, until the last moment. Ricky Ponting accepted on Wednesday he was unclear about his best line-up less than 24 hours before the match, in which an England win will mean the visitors retain the Ashes.

England arrived in Perth on Monday 1-0 up in the five-match series saying they knew their best 11, but Australia are wavering and are considering playing an all-pace bowling attack on what is tipped to be a lively pitch.The last time Australia went into a Test without a specialist spinner was at the WACA in 2008, when they lost to India by 72 runs.

Little-known left-arm spinner Michael Beer was picked for the 3rd Test team and looked likely to make his debut, but Ponting looked to be having doubts at his pre-match press conference.
“We haven’t got a squad yet, 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 closer look at it again tomorrow before we finalise what our 11 will be,” Ponting said.

Ben Hilfenhaus and Ryan Harris had been expected to lead the Australian attack with either struggling Mitchell Johnson or or 1st Test hat-trick hero Peter Siddle as third seamer and Beer lining up as specialist spinner.But after talking to the WACA head groundsman, Ponting said he wanted to delay his last call.

“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,” he said. “It’s crucial to really get a good feel of it tomorrow morning and just see how hard it is on the surface and if there’s any moisture left in the surface before we make a selection.”

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