Australia add quick Harris to squad for India Test

Last Updated: Dec 30, 2011, 09:13 AM IST

Melbourne: Australia brought Ryan Harris into their squad for the second Test against India on Friday, adding a fourth pace option a day after bowling their way to victory in the opening match against the tourists.

The injury-prone Harris joins James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus in the 12-man party for the second match in the four-Test series, which starts on Tuesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Pattinson, playing in only his third Test, edged Siddle and Hilfenhaus to Man of the Match honours in Melbourne after all three played key roles with both bat and ball in the 122-run victory.

All four playing at the SCG would be quite a statement as it is a ground that has traditionally favoured spin-bowling, but skipper Michael Clarke said on Thursday that omitting Nathan Lyon might be a gamble the hosts were prepared to take.

Uncapped all rounder Dan Christian and paceman Mitchell Starc were included in a 13-man squad for the first Test but made way for 32-year-old Harris, who has been struggling with a hip injury.

"I`ve seen Ryan bowl in the nets over the last few days and he looks pretty good," captain Michael Clarke said on Thursday.

"That`s probably one of the bonuses we`ve got at the moment, our attack is bowling really well, and we have guys like Ryan on the mend and not too far from being fully fit. I think it is a good problem to have."

When fully fit, Harris is a formidable bowler and would be a welcome addition to the trio who got plenty of pace and movement off the pitch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

While Australia`s bowling attack looked in rude health at the MCG, the batting line-up again showed a fragility that has become all too familiar this year.

The top order remained intact despite some disappointing performances, perhaps because opening batsman and all rounder Shane Watson was still not available for selection.

Watson, Australia`s Player of the Year for the last two seasons, sustained an injury in South Africa last month and missed both the series against New Zealand and the Boxing Day Test.

"Shane has not fully recovered from his right calf injury and is therefore not available for the Sydney Test," team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said in a team statement.

"He will continue his rehabilitation and hopefully be available for one of the remaining Test matches."

Australia, who have never lost a Test series against India on home soil, also play matches in Perth and Adelaide after the Sydney Test.

Squad - Michael Clarke (captain), David Warner, Ed Cowan, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon.

Bureau Report