Hodge called up, Clarke gets chance - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hodge called up, Clarke gets chance

By Michael Donaldson 23/09/2004 04:25:57 PM Comments (0)

Brad Hodge has been rewarded for a spectacular 12 months of batting form, named as Ricky Ponting's replacement for Australia's cricket tour of India.

Hodge won a race against fellow Victorian Matthew Elliott, who has been equally prolific in the past year, after Ponting's fractured thumb forced the skipper out of the tour for an unspecified period.

Ponting is expected to miss at least the first Test and his whole series could be in jeopardy.

Vice-captain Adam Gilchrist has been confirmed as the skipper in Ponting's absence.

Hodge, 29, has just come off a wonderful season in England where he made 1548 runs for Leicestershire at an average of 61.92. That followed an Australian summer where he made 984 runs at 61.50.

Hodge also earned the call-up because he is a specialist No.3 batsman and he will now go head-to-head with another rookie tourist, Michael Clarke, for Ponting's spot in the first Test at Bangalore, which starts on October 6.

National selection panel chairman Trevor Hohns said the Australians could either "slot someone straight in" at No.3 - Hodge - or "one of the existing batsmen could move up the order", making room for Clarke at No.6.

That would mean either Damien Martyn, Darren Lehmann or Simon Katich taking over at No.3.

Hohns said Australia could also use an all-rounder like Cameron White or Shane Watson.

"We have plenty of options - we've got all angles covered," Hohns told AAP.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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