Another test, another string for changes for an Australia side desperate to rescue a series that is rapidly slipping away from them.
Simon Katich – like England’s Stuart Broad – was always going to be an absentee as his series has now been wiped out through injury, Phillip Hughes comes in for him.
But a slew of further changes shows how poorly the selectors viewed their sides’ performance at the Adelaide Oval , where they slumped to a home first innings defeat since 1993.
Marcus North, Doug Bollinger and spin experiment Xavier Doherty have all been left out while pacemen Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson, who played at Brisbane but were dropped for Adelaide, are recalled.
Also in the side are two more pretenders to Shane Warne’s crown – leg spinner and middle order batsmen Steve Smith and left arm spinner Michael Beer.
The selection of Beer is perhaps the most eye-opening choice for those set to follow the “Live scores” in the third test. The 26-year old has only made five first class appearances and has taken 16 wickets at an average of 39.93.
He has won the backing of Warne though and he is believed to have been the choice of captain Ricky Ponting, who again overlooked Nathan Haurtiz. It will be interesting for those following the “Latest cricket scores” in Perth to see how the rookie spinner performs.
With Smith and Hughes taking the place of Katich and North the question now remains whether Beer will play alongside three seamers or, with Smith taking the main spinning duties, they go for four paceman in Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Johnson and Hilfenhaus.
The chopping and changing merely reflect the state of chaos Australian cricket currently resides in and despite all the positive noises coming from the Australian camp regarding their latest squad, the fact remains that a massive upturn in form is needed if they are to reclaim the urn that already seems in England’s firm grasp.