Australia are considering an all-pace bowling attack for the crucial third Ashes Test, but skipper Ricky Ponting admitted Wednesday he was still unsure of his best starting lineup.
With less than 24 hours to go, Ponting said he wanted more time before naming his side for the Test at the WACA ground in Perth, which Australia have to win for a chance to regaining 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 still wavering over who to play on what is expected to be a lively pitch.
Little-known left-arm spinner Michael Beer was picked for the Australian squad and looked likely to make his debut, but Ponting seemed to be having doubts at his pre-match press conference.
"We haven't got a team 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 first 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 final 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.
Leg-spinning all-rounder Steve Smith will bat at six, Ponting said, and the home side also have all-rounder and opening batsman Shane Watson as a seam bowling option. England go into the Test in buoyant mood after their crushing win at Adelaide, but Ponting questioned how the visitors would cope with WACA conditions.
"The last couple of results haven't been brilliant for us here but I honestly feel the pitch conditions here are as foreign to English players as probably anywhere else in the world,” he said.
Waugh criticises Aussie selectors
Former captain Steve Waugh says a lack of stability within the side is contributing significantly to the current Australian cricket team's woes.
Waugh, who lost just nine of his 57 Tests as Australian captain, believes the national selectors have made too many changes to the team over the last 18 months and not shown enough faith in youngsters.
"It's not always going to be successful early days, I guess I was a perfect example -- I didn't score a hundred until my 26th Test and I never won a Test until my 13th Test playing for Australia.
"You have to see the bigger picture and you can't just chop and change if someone fails in one Test and doesn't look the goods,” said Waugh.