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Australia face a selection dilemma

cricket Updated: Nov 16, 2011 23:52 IST
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Australia face a selection dilemma ahead of the second and final Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium starting on Thursday, although there are not many options for them.

Australia collapsed to a humiliating 47 all out in their second innings in the first Test in Cape Town last week on the way to an eight-wicket defeat, leading to calls from Australia for major changes ahead of the team's next series, at home against New Zealand.

Critics have called for the heads of former captain Ricky Ponting, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, but because of the composition of the touring party, only Johnson seems in danger of losing his place.

Ponting, 36, has struggled for form over the past year. He made eight and nought in the first Test but both captain Michael Clarke and batting coach Justin Langer have backed him as a key player.

Ponting could now move back to his usual number three position following a back injury that forced Shaun Marsh to return home.

However, captain Michael Clarke said on Wednesday that Usman Khawaya would bat at number three in a straight swap for Marsh.