Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Beer ready for shock Test bow

A few days ago most cricket fans have never heard of Michael Beer, but now he is at the forefront of people's minds as Australia prepare to take on England in Perth.
Beer is the latest in a long line of spinners called up to the squad as the selectors desperately try and find a long term replacement for the legendary Shane Warne.

Xavier Doherty is the latest failure, he has paid the price for posting figures of 2-148 and 1-158 in the first two Tests.

Like Doherty though Beer is still relatively inexperienced at first class level. The 26-year-old has played only six first-class matches and taken 16 wickets in 10 innings at an average of over 40.

However, he did dismiss England top order batsmen Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell and Matt Prior, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood in a recent warm-up game for Western Australia, finishing with figures of 5-207.

It was perhaps that performance, on his home ground the Waca, that persuaded the Aussie selectors to give him a go for the full international side on the same ground. Anyone who has bet on the Ashes will be interested to see how he gets on.

Given their poor performances so far I guess the selectors have little choice. They have chopped and changed the side yet again for this test, with Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson returning to the side having been dropped for Adelaide, while Steven Smith earns his first call-up. The Ashes betting offers suggest it could be a very interesting Test.

They are desperately searching for a solution, anxious in the knowledge that another defeat would ensure the Ashes remain in England hands, regardless of the results in the final two Tests.

Beer better get into the spirit quickly, otherwise it could be one hell of a hangover for Australian cricket.

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