Christian makes case for ODI finals start
Dan Christian’s 5-31 including a hat-trick puts Australia’s selectors in a tough spot for Sunday’s first final against Sri Lanka in Brisbane.
Christian’s brilliant performance with his medium-pacers on Friday against Sri Lanka at the MCG takes his series tally to 13 wickets at 20.30 and makes it impossible to leave the allrounder out of the side.
However with skipper Michael Clarke expected to return from back/hamstring soreness, at least one player has to come out.
And veteran quick Brett Lee, who has been carrying a foot injury, may find it tough to slip back into the team after being rested on Friday.
Lee has claimed five wickets at an average of 36.00 in the series which puts the 35-year-old at a disadvantage compared to fellow pacemen Clint McKay (10 wickets), Ben Hilfenhaus (nine) and James Pattinson, who took 4-51 in his comeback game on Friday.
Australia’s fast bowlers are keen to get up to Brisbane to capitalise on what’s expected to be a bouncy pitch so one option for Australia’s selectors may to be leave out their only specialist spinner Xavier Doherty (nine wickets at 29.66).
However that would possibly only be a short-term solution with the other two finals in the best-of-three series to be played in Adelaide where spin will be crucial.
Middle-order batsman and part-time spinner David Hussey is the leading runscorer in the series and can hardly expect to be dropped.
First-year player Peter Forrest, who has scored a century and two fifties in the series, could be a candidate to make way for Clarke. Forrest has failed to reach double figures in his past two innings including making two on Friday against Sri Lanka.© AAP 2013
Watch Glenn Mitchell's wrap of the second Test, where Australia were victorious early on the final day, winning by 218 runs and taking a 2-0 series lead into the third Test in Perth.