Ponting still to decide bowling attack - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ponting still to decide bowling attack

By Greg Buckle 15/03/2006 05:32:56 AM Comments (0)

Captain Ricky Ponting has said Australia was yet to decide on its bowling attack for Thursday's first Test against South Africa.

He did however praise uncapped seamer Stuart Clark.

Clark, 30, has taken a combined 4-204 in four appearances in the one-day international series which ended on Sunday in Johannesburg as South Africa overhauled Australia's world-record score of 4-434 with 9-438 in the 50th over.

The tall NSW right-armer, who has taken 17 wickets at 22.06 in four Pura Cup matches this season, is seen as an outsider for selection in the Test XI.

Strike bowler Brett Lee is likely to share the new ball with Queenslander Michael Kasprowicz, supported by all-rounder Andrew Symonds and leg-spinners Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill.

"I've been really impressed with Stuey Clark in the one-dayers he's played. He's bowled beautifully," Ponting said.

"He hasn't bowled with the new ball, but he's been on fairly early in every game. He's been difficult and uncomfortable for their batsmen.

"I think he's in really good touch at the moment. He hasn't played a four-day game since late November which I don't think will worry him too much. He's done a lot of bowling since he's been here.

"Kasper's got a few things going for him (44 wickets for Queensland in the Pura Cup this season at 23.14).

"It doesn't make it any easier for us picking the team."

Young quick Shaun Tait from South Australia, an ultra-aggressive bowler similar to Lee, also trained with the 14-man squad in the nets at Newlands but is unlikely to win a third Test appearance with selection on Thursday.

Australia could gamble on Tait as a third pace bowler behind Lee and Kasprowicz, but only if the tourists opt for just one spinner and that seems unlikely for the first Test.

Ponting said the Newlands curator had told him he expected the wicket would take spin.

"If there happens to be a bit of grass, it will mean the ball will stay pretty new and will swing around a bit as well," Ponting said.

"We've got the bases covered there if that's the case.

"If not, then we've got the spinners as well.

"We're going to have to look who will take the new ball, as well. Nothing's really been decided."

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