Australia defer duo decision
Australia will make a late call on whether to play Doug Bollinger and Mike Hussey in the opening Test in India.
Last Updated: 29/09/10 11:09pm
Australia are yet to decide whether to play late arrivals Doug Bollinger and Mike Hussey in the opening Test against India, which begins in Mohali on Friday.
The duo only joined up with their team-mates on Wednesday after helping the Chennai Super Kings win the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa.
Their extended stay in South Africa has slightly disturbed Australia's preparations ahead of the two-Test series, but coach Tim Nielsen intends to give both players time to prove they were ready to step back into the five-day game.
"They are a little bit behind time wise," Nielsen said.
"We will probably know more tomorrow (Thursday) morning. But at this moment, they have had a bat and a bowl, and at this stage we are pretty positive about them.
"If they are fit, they are more than likely to take their place in the team.
"We have to make the right decision, not only on their getting a spot, but [make sure] they are physically and mentally and technically right to play."
Nielsen denied Bollinger would not have had enough bowling in the shorter format to be ready for Test cricket, adding: "It's not as if he was sitting on a beach on his bum, he has been playing cricket.
"He has got some miles in his legs. However, he certainly hasn't had six, seven-over spells two or three times a day."
Should Bollinger be overlooked young quick Peter George, who Nielsen likened to former star Glenn McGrath, could make his Test debut.
"The thing we know him about him is that he runs in, he is consistent with his pace, and we like to think he is a bit like McGrath in his action and in the bounce he extracts," he added.
"He is not an express fast bowler, but he has got enough pace to make the ball bounce off a length.
"Most importantly he runs in all day to try the right thing for the captain. Given the opportunity he will do a very good job at Test level."
India, the world's top-ranked Test team, have been boosted by the news Harbhajan Singh has been passed fit to play.
Harbhajan, who has tormented Australia in recent series, suffered a side strain earlier this week but was cleared to play after undergoing scans on Wednesday.
Veteran right-hander VVS Laxman said he was looking forward to meeting a country he has enjoyed some of his finest moments against.
The 35-year-old memorably scored 281 at Eden Gardens to turn the infamous 2001 series India's way after they had been asked to follow-on.
"Personally, I am really looking forward to the series. I want to keep up my good work going. I want to perform, play some match-winning knocks," he told The Hindu Times.
"I have spent last two weeks at the NCA, did quite a lot of practice, hitting at the nets. I am really happy with my form and waiting for the series to get going."