Thatscricket - News - MacGill is ideal substitute for injured Warne: Rixon
Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Sydney: New South Wales (NSW) coach Steve Rixon on Tuesday urged selectors to choose Stuart MacGill as injured Shane Warne's replacement in the Australian Test team.[an error occurred while processing this directive]With Warne's shoulder injury to sideline the great leg spinner from the last two Ashes Tests against England over Christmas-New Year, MacGill is vying for the vacant spot with Nathan Hauritz, Brad Hogg, Cameron White and Mark Higgs.Warne apart, MacGill has taken more first-class wickets (17) than any other spinner this summer, although his average of 41 is higher than most of his rivals.While most of the other spinners have little or no international experience, MacGill has accumulated 82 wickets from 17 Tests at an average of Rixon said MacGill's performances at Test level indicated he was a fine player who came up to the mark every time he was challenged.He cited MacGill's outstanding record against England in the last Ashes series in Australia when he topped the home teams wicket taking list with 27."He has got a great track record, not only in Test match cricket, but against the Englishmen," Rixon said on Tuesday. "Last time he had an encounter (with England) here, he was pretty successful, so I don't think there's any question as to who would be the best choice," he said.MacGill opted not to speak on Tuesday deferring any comment until after the Australian team for the fourth Test was announced on Sunday. Through the season, the 31-year-old leg spinner has adopted a low-key attitude when talking about his prospects of playing international cricket again, particularly since the Australian selectors appeared to have decided against picking Warne and himself in the same team."I think deep down he's probably frustrated, but the reality is that he's got a job to do for NSW," Rixon said. "He's probably had a mixed season as far as form goes for us, but the higher the standard, the better he performs."Rixon was less assertive about MacGill's prospects of replacing Warne in the Australian Limited Overs team. While the NSW leggie enjoys a phenomenal strike rate at domestic level, Rixon suggested his high economy rate could count against the Blues' tweaker. "It depends what the (Australian) selectors are looking for. If they are looking for economy rate, then it's probably not for Stuart," Rixon said. "If they are looking for a match-winner and a wicket-taker which also prevents sides from scoring runs, well maybe he is your answer."
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