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Bichel dropped for tri-series finals

Andy Bichel was dropped on Tuesday from Australia's team for the tri-series finals against India, replaced by Michael Kasprowicz.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2004 00:57 IST

Journeyman fast bowler Andy Bichel was dropped Tuesday from Australia's cricket team for the tri-series finals against India, replaced by his Queensland team-mate Michael Kasprowicz.

Captain Ricky Ponting was also brought back after a brief rest in the only other change to Australia's 13-man squad that stormed to a five-wicket win over India in Perth on Sunday.

Mike Hussey was dropped to make space for Ponting while Simon Katich, who replaced the injured Michael Bevan last week, remained in the team for the final series that begins Friday in Melbourne.

Damien Martyn also retained his place despite a string of low scores and a reprimand he earned last week for making an obscene gesture to a television cameraman.

Kasprowicz returns to one-day international action following his role in Australia's successful tour of India last year. This season, he has taken 11 wickets in the ING Cup at an average of 15.81.

Trevor Hohns, chairman of the selectors, said Kasprowicz deserved his recall due to consistently good one-day and four-day performances, while Bichel had been disappointing.

"It is fair to say that Andy Bichel has not been bowling as well as we would like, and we feel that a spell at state level might help him recapture his form," he said.

"Michael Kasprowicz deserves this opportunity. We were impressed with his work on the recent one-day tour of India, and his performances for Queensland over a long period of time have been first-class," he said.

Bichel chalked up the worst record of Australia's pace bowlers in the tri-series to date, conceding 5.32 runs per over and taking just three wickets in six games.

Hohns also said he regretted having to drop Hussey from the squad after he performed well in Sunday's match, but expressed confidence he would return to the team.

"It is unfortunate for Michael Hussey who did a terrific job for the side on Sunday and it can be said that his strong performance was recognised by the selectors with a view to the future," he said.

Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt), Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Damien Martyn, Andrew Symonds, Michael Clarke, Simon Katich, Ian Harvey, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Brad Williams, Michael Kasprowicz.

First Published: Feb 03, 2004 11:27 IST