Doolan in as cover for Watson for Sydney Test

Melbourne, Dec 30: Australia have called in Tasmanian batsman Alex Doolan as a cover for Shane Watson, who is struggling to get fit for the final Ashes Test against England that starts Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Watson injured his groin during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne that Australia won to make it 4-0. They are now eyeing a whitewash in Sydney.

“The NSP has selected a squad of 14 players for the Sydney Test with the addition of Tasmanian Alex Doolan coming in and Doug Bollinger going out. With some players still being assessed by our medical team after four demanding Tests, we have decided to add Alex to ensure we have sufficient cover in our batting line-up should it be required,” said national selector John Inverarity.

“Alex is a talented player who came under strong consideration for selection ahead of the Ashes series after a string of solid performances in four day cricket for Tasmania at the start of this season, but also after an excellent finish to last season and we feel those performances warrant his inclusion in the squad of 14 for Sydney,” he said.

The National Selection Panel decided that Doolan,29, should replace pacer Doug Bollinger, who was released to play in the Big Bash T20. Bollinger was released because Australia have enough back-up pacers in James Faulkner and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Pacer Ryan Harris is also in doubt for the Sydney Test with a knee injury.

“Doug, who has been bowling impressively this season, has been released to play Big Bash League as the NSP feels there is sufficient cover with James Faulkner and Nathan Coulter-Nile also in the squad,” Inverarity added.

Squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Brad Haddin (wicketkeeper), Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson, Alex Doolan, Steve Smith, George Bailey, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Nathan Coulter-Nile

IANS