The pitch flattened out and England dominated, leaving Andrew Strauss’s stumping off Marcus North as the only success of a demoralising 2nd innings for the hosts. Still, the draw did end a three-match losing streak, which was their worst series since 1988. Australia now have three days to finalise a Plan B as they get ready to handle a pitch in Adelaide that is typically made for batsmen.
Playing back-to-back Tests is a issue for both teams, although England gained extra recovery time by having their tough bowling days on Friday and Saturday. “If we get a flat wicket in Adelaide again,” Ponting said, “we have to make positive we are a whole lot better than we were in this game.” Harris and Bollinger were both picked in the inflated first-Test team before being released due to physical fitness issues.
Harris, who moved from South Australia three seasons ago, was cut because he had only just returned from a chronic knee injury, which had sent him home from England before the Pakistan series in July. He confident the selectors of his durability with four wickets in a one-day game for Queensland and six more in the Sheffield Shield fixture against Victoria that ended today.
Ponting is a big supporter, having seen Harris’ tireless work during his first two Tests against New Zealand in March.
Bollinger will be released a day early from New South Wales’ Shield fixture against Western Australia in Perth.Australia team Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Marcus North, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Xavier Doherty, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris, Doug Bollinger.