Australian pace bowlers on standby for third test

SUDIPTO GANGULY
Last updated 02:41 05/12/2013

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Australia have put fast bowlers Doug Bollinger and Nathan Coulter-Nile on standby for next week's third Ashes test against England in Perth should any of the current pacemen break down during the second test in Adelaide, starting later today.

The Adelaide Oval's drop-in pitch is expected to favour batsmen and provide the seamers with a heavier workload than the strip at Brisbane, where the Australian attack exploited a bouncy surface to rout England by 381 runs.

Due to the three-day turnaround between the end of the second test and start of the third, on a more seamer-friendly WACA pitch, selectors thought it prudent to add backup bowlers for Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle.

"We hope the fitness and form of current squad members leads to us having the same 12 for the Perth test," national selector John Inverarity said in a statement on Wednesday.

"However, to ensure we are well prepared, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Doug Bollinger have been placed on standby for the Perth test which is to start on Friday 13 December."

Left-armer James Faulkner is the fourth paceman in the current Australian 12-man squad.

The quartet of James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Ben Hilfenhaus and Pat Cummins are the other fast bowlers in regular contention for test spots but all four are recovering from injuries and unavailable for selection.

Bollinger, 32, played the last of his 12 tests for Australia in Adelaide during the Ashes series in 2010 and has been in prime form in the domestic competition with 17 wickets at an average of 25.

The 26-year-old Coulter-Nile has played two one-day internationals for Australia but is yet to make his test debut.

"Nathan and Doug will not be available to play for Western Australia and New South Wales respectively in the upcoming round of Sheffield Shield fixtures, Sunday to Wednesday, 8-11 December," Inverarity added.

"Nathan lives in Perth while Doug will head to Perth early next week to be ready should he be required for selection."

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