Shamik Das


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Symmo starts; Monty maybe

Andrew Symonds taking a rare Test wicket for Australia    Monty Panesar in action for England

Andrew Symonds and Monty Panesar are set to make their Ashes debuts in Perth tomorrow morning when the Third Test begins in earnest.

Symonds is definitely in, with Panesar still uncertain, despite the growing, nay deafening, clamour for his inclusion at the WACA in place of the expensive, ineffective and uninspiring Ashley Giles.

The Australia line-up is as follows: Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist (wkt), Shane Warne, Brett Lee, Stuart Clark, Glenn McGrath.

With England expected to delay naming their XI until the last possible moment, here's my preferred selection for the Third Test: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Chris Read, Matthew Hoggard, James Anderson, Sajid Mahmood, Monty Panesar.

Before you ask, Anderson stays because there's simply no-one else to take his place! As for coach Duncan Fletcher's line-up: Geraint Jones and Steve Harmison to retain their places I bet.

And because of Fletcher's spinelessness, this time next week the Ashes will probably be gone, with summer 2005 but a distant memory ...

Listen live to full coverage of day one of the Third Test on Radio 4 198LW and the BBC Sport website from 2:00am.

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