Australia mull five specialist bowlers for Boxing Day Test
Sports Live: Australia could play five specialist bowlers against New Zealand during the second Test, captain Tim Paine said Wednesday, with the decision being left until the last moment. The Melbourne Cricket Ground track has been lifeless during the past two Boxing Day Tests, making it hard to take 20 wickets, although a Sheffield Shield match there this month was abandoned due to a dangerous pitch.
“We’ll find out tomorrow. The wicket is a bit unknown… but we’ve got a plan in place for both scenarios (with five bowlers or without),” Paine told reporters on Wednesday. “We’ve probably got two different teams (in mind), to be honest, so we’ll make the final call tomorrow.”
If they go down this route on Thursday, Neser is set to line up alongside Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon, with James Pattinson replacing the injured Josh Hazlewood. Travis Head is expected to be the fall guy, with wicketkeeper Paine moving up the batting order to six.
In contrast Steve Smith, their hero during the Ashes against England this year, has managed only 43 and 16 in his last two innings, out twice to short balls from Neil Wagner. It followed a quiet series against Pakistan and he is keen to pile on some runs in Melbourne.
Dhaka 25 December (campuslive24.com)//az