Beer, Khawaja to make debuts
Australia have confirmed Michael Beer and Usman Khawaja will play in the fifth Ashes Test - with Doug Bollinger as 12th man.
Last Updated: 02/01/11 2:10pm
Australia have confirmed Michael Beer and Usman Khawaja will make their debuts in the fifth Ashes Test.
The home side are 2-1 down and need a win at the Sydney Cricket Ground to claim a share of the series.
Michael Clarke is to captain Australia for the first time in a Test as regular skipper Ricky Ponting is ruled out by a hand injury.
But Clarke will have an inexperienced line-up at his disposal after Doug Bollinger was revealed as the man to miss out from the 12-man squad.
New South Wales batsman Khawaja, who averages 51.70 in 27 first-class matches, is tasked with replacing Ponting at number three in the order.
And, with the SCG traditionally the most spin-friendly surface in the country, Western Australia's Michael Beer will also make his bow.
The left-arm spinner has played just seven first-class matches - none at the SCG - and finally gets his chance after being 12th man in both the third and fourth Tests.
Beer supplements a three-man seam attack of Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson - with Clarke also able to call on Steve Smith's leg-spin and Shane Watson's medium pace.
"It was a tough call," admitted Clarke. "I think Hilfy's bowled pretty well without too much luck. Dougie's not only a good friend but a wonderful bowler.
"The selectors, for whatever reason, have stuck with Hilf."
Clarke is confident both the new boys will rise to the occasion. "(Beer)'s pretty excited," he said. "He's been around the group and now he's finally getting his chance on this pitch, which I'm sure will suit his game."
On Khawaja, he added: "His performances over the last couple of years have earned him the right to play for his country.
"I think he's very talented and he's looking forward to his opportunity."
Australia: S Watson, P Hughes, U Khawaja, M Clarke (capt), M Hussey, S Smith, B Haddin (wkt), M Johnson, P Siddle, B Hilfenhaus, M Beer