11 Dec 2010

Australia ring the changes for third Ashes test

9:21 am on 11 December 2010

Australia have shaken up their underperforming bowling attack making a raft of changes to the side that lost to England in Adelaide, and sprung a surprise by picking untried spinner Michael Beer in a revamped 12-man squad for the third Ashes test in Perth next week.

Beer, who has taken just 16 first-class wickets at an average nudging 40 since making his debut two months ago, replaces fellow left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty, dropped after being flayed by England's batsmen in the second test.

Beer will join retained pacemen Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris in the attack, while Mitchell Johnson returns to the side in place of Doug Bollinger who was dropped after struggling for fitness in the Adelaide heat.

All-rounder Steven Smith also replaces out-of-form number six Marcus North, who was widely expected to be dropped after failing again at Adelaide.

Phillip Hughes has replaced injured opening batsman Simon Katich and will face a big psychological test at Perth after he was bullied out of the side by England's quicks during Australia's losing Ashes series last year.

The Australian selector Andrew Hilditch conceded the hosts had disappointed in the series to date and said the changes were aimed at jump-starting the stuttering team.


Ricky Ponting (c), Michael Clarke, Michael Beer, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Phillip Hughes, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Shane Watson.