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Aussies turn to Beer for revival

cricket Updated: Dec 11, 2010 01:28 IST

Reuters
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Australia have shaken up their underperforming bowling attack and sprung a surprise by picking untried spinner Michael Beer in a revamped 12-man squad for the third Ashes test against England 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 bats in the second test in Adelaide.

England lead the five-match series 1-0 after beating the hosts by an innings and 71 runs in Adelaide.

Beer will join retained pacemen Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris in the attack, but Doug Bollinger was dropped after struggling for fitness in the Adelaide heat.

Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus, both of whom were dropped following poor performances in the first Test in Brisbane, will vie for the last vacant bowling spot, underlining the paucity of Australia's back-up bowling options.

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.

Hilditch conceded the hosts had disappointed in the series to date and said the raft of changes were aimed at jump-starting the stuttering team.

Strauss, Collingwood to share captaincy
Melbourne: England has named two captains for its series of shortened matches against Australia _ Andrew Strauss for the seven-match one-day series and Paul Collingwood for the two Twenty20 matches.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said on Friday that Warwickshire bowler Chris Woakes was the only uncapped player named in the squad and he will be joined by Craig Kieswetter for the Twenty20 series only.

Victoria's Hill frustrates England
England's Ashes hopefuls Tim Bresnan, Chris Tremlett and Ajmal Shahzad failed to press their cases as the tourists dropped five catches on the opening day of their three-day match against Victoria on Friday.

Michael Hill scored an impressive century to lead the hosts to 216/2 declared.

One of the three bowlers will replace the injured Stuart Broad in the English attack for the third test against Australia at Perth next week.

For Victoria, who opted to bat first and declared on 216 for two wickets 14 overs before stumps, Michael Hill struck an unbeaten 105, punishing England's sloppiness as he was dropped four times.

Victoria 216/2 dec (M Hill 105, D Hussey 67 n.o) vs England XI 50/1.

Ponting should step down: Gatting
Australian cricket is in a "mess", says former England captain Mike Gatting, who feels an out-of-form Ricky Ponting should step down as captain to ensure that his batting does not suffer. Developments