| Jason Gillespie
Melbourne: Fast bowler Jason Gillespie and leg-spinner Stuart MacGill were recalled to the Australian team on Thursday for next week’s first Test against India at the Gabba in Brisbane.
The pair missed Australia’s last Test against Zimbabwe in October as well as the triangular one-day series in India because of injury but have been passed fit to play in captain Steve Waugh’s final series.
However, Australia’s two main strike bowlers, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee, remain sidelined by niggling injuries and were left out of the 12-man squad.
“We believe we have the necessary depth to adequately cover for both Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee,” Australia’s chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said in a statement.
Pacemen Andy Bichel, Brad Williams and Nathan Bracken were also named in the squad. Williams and Bracken were rewarded for a consistent performance during the tri-series in India.
The 26-year-old Bracken believed his left-handedness was an advantage against the Indians. “There’s not a lot going around so... it makes it difficult for them,” said Bracken.
Katich impressed the selectors with his all-round performance against Zimbabwe to keep his spot in the side ahead of Brad Hogg, who was dropped to make way for MacGill.
The return of MacGill and Gillespie comes as welcome news to an Australian team which suddenly found itself short of top quality bowlers.
McGrath is hoping to be back in time for the third Test starting in Melbourne on Boxing Day after undergoing ankle surgery while Lee, who opted for elective surgery on his troublesome ankle after tearing an abdominal muscle, is also expected to return this month.
THE AUSTRALIAN XII
Australia: Steve Waugh (captain), Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Simon Katich, Adam Gilchrist, Andy Bichel, Jason Gillespie, Stuart MacGill, Brad Williams, Nathan Bracken.