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Three In Queue To Replace Broad In Third Ashes Test

PTI 08 Dec 2010, 12:39:44 IST
Melbourne, Dec 8 :  Coach Andy Flower says England's three-day match against Victoria state won't be a "bowl off" to decide who replaces injured paceman Stuart Broad in its lineup for the third Ashes test against Australia.

Seamers Chris Tremlett, Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad will all play against Victoria in the match starting Friday and appear to be competing for Broad's place in the England attack.

"I won't describe it that way (a bowl-off) because you don't judge people on one performance," Flower said. "We have ideas in mind about who will replace Broad.

Broad has been ruled out of the remainder of the Ashes series after suffering an abdominal tear in the second test at Adelaide, won by England by an innings and 71 runs.

"We weren't totally naive in thinking we'd get through the Ashes series without any injuries to our quicks," Flower said.

England's three frontline bowlers, James Anderson, Steven Finn and spinner Graeme Swann, are all expected to be rested from the tour match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Anderson has returned to England to attend the birth of his second child, but is due back in Perth in time for the third test.

"Their family lives and their children, they come above cricket," said Flower, who deflected questions from reporters about the state of the Australian team, which was outplayed by England in both Brisbane and Adelaide.

An injury to opener Simon Katich and worries about the strength of its bowling attack has also left Australia looking for replacements, but Flower would not speculate on possible remedies.

"It's very difficult for me to judge and it's not my place to do so," he said. "We respect the Australians. They're a very strong cricket nation. I don't know who they're going to bring in."

Meanwhile, Nathan Hauritz, who is hoping to reclaim his place as Australia's specialist spinner, sent a confusing message to the Australian selectors on Wednesday when he starred with the bat rather than the ball for New South Wales against South Australia.

Hauritz reached his maiden first-class century shortly before tea on the second day of the Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He had earlier gone wicketless, finishing with 0-44, in South Australia's first innings.

Opener Phil Hughes, who has been tipped to replace Katich in Perth, scored only 4 for New South Wales while another test hopeful, batsman Usman Khawaja, made 53. AP