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Australia to experiment in Malaysia tournament

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Sydney: Australia will use this month's Malaysian One-day tournament to try out different players and combinations, their captain Ricky Ponting said today.

The world champions are without resting wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, and Ponting said it was a chance for fringe players to stake their claims for next year's World Cup.

''These opportunities are the ones we have to make the most of,'' Ponting told reporters before the squad flew out of Brisbane to Kuala Lumpur.

''The whole idea of this series is to try and give everyone a couple of games at least.'' Matthew Hayden, Mark Cosgrove and Phil Jaques are the leading contenders to fill Gilchrist's spot at the top of the batting order alongside Simon Katich, whose place could also be under threat.

''He (Katich) probably put a bit more pressure on himself and went into his shell a little bit but the way he played in the VB series, and a couple of times in South Africa as well, and then again in Bangladesh, I think we started to see the real Simon Katich come out,'' Ponting said.

''With him being a bit more confident with his position in the side now, I think we're going to see a better player going forward.'' Ponting is delighted to have experienced fast bowler Glenn McGrath back for the first time since January.

''He feels 25 again,'' Ponting said. ''I think we'll try and give Glenn as much bowling as we can. Glenn's one that's thrived with lots of bowling over the years.

''We need to make sure we're really monitoring his progress and try to get a fair bit of bowling into him.'' Australia begin their campaign against West Indies on Tuesday. India are the other team in the tournament which ends with the final on September 24, two weeks before the start of the Champions Trophy.

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