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Gilchrist says four bowlers can do job at Gaba

Vice-captain Adam Gilchrist says he feels confident going into the Gabba Test with three pace bowlers and a spinner.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2006 11:50 IST

Vice-captain Adam Gilchrist is confident Australia's balance of four bowlers will be successful again following Shane Watson's injury withdrawal from Thursday's first Ashes Test against England at the Gabba.

Fifth-bowler Watson on Tuesday conceded defeat and pulled out of the Australian team for the opening match of the series after tweaking his hamstring while bowling in a domestic one-dayer last Friday.

Specialist batsman Michael Clarke has replaced the all- rounder at No.6, and Gilchrist sees no problems with Australia reverting to the bowling formula, which has kept the team on top of world cricket for 15 years.

Gilchrist said that he felt confident going into the Gabba Test with three pace bowlers and a spinner.

"We've had that balance for many years and I guess why there is a focus on that is because we now have another option with Shane Watson, it creates another bowling option," Gilchrist told reporters on Tuesday.

"It doesn't necessarily mean that any captain has to use that bowling option, but having captained a few teams it's nice you can look around the field and know you've got other guys you can draw on if you want to use them.

"We shouldn't forget that Shane Watson averages 50 in first class cricket and is starting to forge his way as a top-four batsman so he's really justifying his selection in the squad.

"But if we do go with four bowlers, three quicks and a spinner, that's been very successful for us for a long time, particularly in Australian conditions.

First Published: Nov 22, 2006 11:45 IST