The Roar
The Roar


Hilfenhaus injury has Bollinger in, Clark out in cold

Roar Guru
30th November, 2009

Australia’s selectors have inked Doug Bollinger into their XI for the second Test against West Indies at Adelaide Oval while also cutting further ties with seasoned seamer Stuart Clark.

Knee tendonitis ruled swing bowler and Gabba man of the match Ben Hilfenhaus out of the reckoning for Adelaide on Monday, but the identity of his replacement in the squad – young Victorian seamer Clint McKay – meant just as much for Bollinger and Clark.

Bollinger is now certain to play in the second Test, a chance to display his skill with the old ball and on the docile and near subcontinental Adelaide pitch, following a matchwinning display for NSW against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield match at Perth.

But 34-year-old Clark languishes unwanted, seemingly categorised as a player only to be called on in times of rare emergency.

Clark’s unflattering Test record at Adelaide Oval (five wickets at 60.8 in three matches) would also have counted against him.

National coach Tim Nielsen said McKay’s selection left Bollinger a natural choice to play.

“I think Doug would be the first cab off the rank, he was in the 12 in Brisbane and very close to playing,” Nielsen said on Monday.

“The feedback from Perth was that he bowled very quickly and got some good results, knowing Doug he’s champing at the bit for his opportunity – all things being equal Doug would be the first one to get the chance.”

Nielsen felt that Clark may have been chosen if he had a greater chance of playing, meaning McKay is most likely in the 12 to gain experience around the Test squad rather than as a serious contender for the ball.


“He’s not so much finished I wouldn’t have thought, I just think at the moment they’ve gone in a different direction and decided to go with Clint McKay,” Nielsen said of Clark.

“My gut feeling would be that the XI would be pretty close to being finalised, it’s a chance to get young players around the group to experience it and see what’s going on.

“Stuart’s done that quite regularly.

“If we needed to play someone in the XI, it may well be a different story.”

Hilfenhaus’s knee problem has been with him since before the recent limited overs tour of India, where he never looked quite comfortable, and though he bowled beautifully in the helpful Brisbane air he is now fighting to be fit in time for the third Test at Perth in two weeks.

“It hurts,” said Nielsen.

“We’ve been nursing him through, throughout the Indian one day series (and Brisbane), it’s a tendonitis thing.

“I think giving him a bit of a rest rather than push him, push him until he actually breaks and needs a long rest is the option we’re taking, we’re hoping he’ll be up and ready for Perth.


“That’ll give him about 16 days from now until the Perth Test starts, which is as long a break as we’ll get throughout the summer.”

West Indies have lost Jerome Taylor for the remainder of the tour due to an ailment various described as a hip strain or back stress fracture, with selectors conferring about a replacement.

Senior batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan, meanwhile, is on course to be fit in time for the second Test having missed the first due to back trouble.

Australia Squad: Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Doug Bollinger, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Clint McKay, Marcus North, Peter Siddle, Shane Watson.