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Australian middle order to be examined

29/11/2005 06:07:27 AM Comments (0)

Australia's struggling middle order is set to go under the microscope in the chase for final day victory in the third Test at the Adelaide Oval.

Set 182 to achieve a series clean sweep against the West Indies, the home side resumes at 2-76 with Matthew Hayden 38no and Brad Hodge 10.

Australia's top order of Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Justin Langer and Mike Hussey has covered for the frailty down the list this series.

The national team has totally revamped its middle order since the ill-fated Ashes campaign with Damien Martyn, Simon Katich and Michael Clarke all being dumped.

Australia went into this match with Test novices Brad Hodge (2nd Test), Mike Hussey (3rd Test) and Andrew Symonds.

The middle order problems have been heightened because trailblazing wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist's scoring rate has cooled by his lofty standards since the start of the Ashes series.

Australia lost 6-67 in the middle of its first innings in Hobart and 7-84 in its opening dig in Adelaide.

West Indian paceman Corey Collymore (2-27) has been the destroyer in Australia's second dig so far removing Langer (20) and Ponting (3) but the tourists could be without the bowling services of allrounder Dwayne Bravo.

The right-arm seamer collected 6-84 in Australia's first innings but injured his thigh while topscoring with 64 in the West Indian second innings on Monday.

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