MacGill hopes to get selection against Windies

Published: Saturday, October 22, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Leg-spinner Stuart MacGill said on Friday he has done enough to be considered to play in Australia's first Test match against the West Indies in Brisbane next month.

MacGill's nine wickets in Australia's thumping win over the World all-stars here earlier this week are pressuring selectors to keep him in a leg-spin tandem with Shane Warne for the Brisbane Test starting on November 3.

MacGill, after being spurned for the recent Ashes series in England, captured 4-39 and 5-43 on his favourite Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) track, outshining even leg-spin king Warne (3-23 and 3-48). MacGill, 34, now has 169 wickets at 27.76 from 34 Tests, at a rate of just under five wickets a match.

"I deserve my place at the top of the heap of next-placed players, because I've done everything that I possibly can to make sure I'm consistently up there," MacGill said on Friday.

"Following up from a great season in Sheffield Shield cricket last year, to have a good hit-out in my first Test match this year, I think I've put a pretty strong case."

Asked by reporters what he had to do to press his Test claims, MacGill said: "I don't think I've to do anything else to tell you the truth.

"I think the most important thing to do when you are a peripheral player is to make sure that if the selection panel is looking for options then you are at the top of the list. "If the current Australian selectors are looking for a second spin bowler, to be part of a five-man bowling line up, I'm it at the moment.

"There's nobody really who can contest that spot. Fortunately I played last week and was able to reinforce my place at the top of my list, but that's the only thing I can do and I'm confident that I've done enough in that respect."

The emergence of all-rounder Shane Watson as a potential third paceman has given MacGill reason to believe he has a better chance of playing more Tests than in previous years when his opportunities were confined to just the SCG Test or when Shane Warne was injured.

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