Unchanged Australia team for second Test

Updated: Dec 08, 2011, 09:55 AM IST

Hobart: Captain Michael Clarke has resisted the temptation to play allrounder Dan Christian in naming an unchanged Australian team for tomorrow`s second Test against New Zealand in Hobart.

Christian was added to the squad for injured paceman Ben Cutting following Australia`s emphatic nine-wicket win over the Kiwis in Brisbane last weekend, but Clarke is staying with the same eleven for the Hobart Test.

The Bellerive Oval wicket looked green with plenty of grass covering on the eve of the Test with Clarke anticipating tough work for the team that bats first on the opening day.

"The wicket has got a lot more grass on it than I`ve ever seen in Hobart, looks better today than yesterday, so I`m looking forward to seeing what it`s like tomorrow morning," Clarke said onThursday.

"I think day one is going to be quite tough for the batters, especially if it`s overcast and then it will turn into a pretty good wicket.

"I still see Nathan Lyon playing a big part as our spinner, probably later in the game than day one."

Clarke said overhead conditions on the morning of the match would be a bigger factor than the pitch when deciding whether to bat or bowl.

"I will be more looking up than looking down," said Clarke, who has only won the toss once in his seven Tests as Australian captain.

Clarke said he had confidence in his four front-line bowlers to get the wickets to beat the Kiwis after newcomer James Pattinson`s devastating five for 27 in New Zealand`s second innings to set up an easy victory at the Gabba.

"There`s probably a little concern that if your front-line bowlers don`t do the job with the new ball it could be quite a long day, but I`m confident. I thought we bowled really well at the Gabba in both innings," he said.

"I`m confident I can get some overs out of Michael Hussey, myself and David Warner as part-timers, but I have to make sure I rotate the bowlers the right way and hope we bowl and field well with that new ball."

Clarke said the team bowling first will have to make good use of the new ball.

"There`s going to be a bit of seam and swing through the whole game with that grass on it so if you bowl really well with the new ball you`re going to have some impact," he said.

Australia: David Warner, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke (capt), Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon. Dan Christian (12th man).

Bureau Report