McGain's injury adds to Australia's spin woes in India

Published: Wednesday, October 1, 2008, 15:01 [IST]
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Ageing Bryce McGain further depleted Australia's already thin spin resources in India on Wednesday when he was ruled out of a practice match due to a shoulder injury.

The 36-year-old leg-spinner will miss the four-day match against a strong Indian Board President's XI here from Thursday, the tourists' last warm-up before next week's first Test.

It effectively rules the Victorian out of the series opener in Bangalore from October 9, with the lone spinning Test spot likely to be handed over to fellow debutant, off-spinner Jason Krejza.

McGain, who injured his right shoulder during last month's Indian tour by the Australia 'A' team, was unable to bowl at the nets on Wednesday, a team spokesman said.

The retirements of the legendary Shane Warne and fellow wrist spinner Stuart McGill in quick succession left Australia so short of quality spin options that they picked untested McGain and 25-year-old Krejza for the Indian tour.

Meanwhile, Yuvraj Singh gets a chance to stake his claim for a Test berth in the Indian team when he leads the Board President's XI against the tourists.

The elegant left-hander, a regular in India's one-day and Twenty20 side, has played only 23 Tests since his debut in 2003, scoring 1,050 runs at an average of 32.81 with three centuries.

He was dropped for the recent Test series in Sri Lanka and was not considered for the five-day Irani Cup domestic tie which was regarded as a trial match for the Australian series.

The home squad includes 11 current or former India internationals including Wasim Jaffer, Subramaniam Badrinath, Aakash Chopra, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel and Irfan Pathan.

"This is a great chance for all of us to knock on the selectors' door," said Yuvraj.

"We must also do well for India's sake and put the Aussies under pressure before the Test series."

Australian coach Tim Nielsen said he looked forward to the practice match.

"The great thing is that the President's XI is such a strong side," said Nielsen. "I would not be surprised if a couple of players in that team actually play in the Tests."

Australia (from) - Ricky Ponting (capt), Matthew Hayden, Phil Jaques, Michael Clarke, Simon Katich, Michael Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Stuart Clark, Mitchell Johnson, Doug Bollinger, Peter Siddle, Jason Krejza.

Indian Board President's XI (from) - Yuvraj Singh (capt), Subramaniam Badrinath, Wasim Jaffer, Aakash Chopra, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Pragyan Ojha, Pankaj Singh, Manpreet Gony, Yogesh Takawale, Rakesh Dhurv.

Read more about: injury, spin, woes
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