Originally Posted by Burgey
Bit of a left-field line-up re. the batting:
Not much of a chance for that line up to be picked I know, but really, given Hayden's form, how much will we miss him over there? Don't see his absence as that bad really, so if Hughes/ Rogers fail, what's the difference to what went on this summer at home?
Hussey seems to have been his most successful at 5 or 6, and I really don't see the problem with Katich batting lower down at either of those spots, freeing up a spot for Jaques (who, pending fitness deserves it) and Hughes or Rogers, depending on how they want to go.
This all depends on whether Symonds or McDonald are fit and picked to play. They'll probably play Symonds, which means Hughes/ Rogers to miss out and Kat to open with Jaques. If they play an all rounder, I must admit that's probably how I'd do it (Kat and Jaques).
No way Katich should be taken out the opening slot, the guy has done well there so why move him from there to just fit in an extra player, who might or might not perform, Katich has himself admitted he is much happier being in the top order, even if that means opening the batting, rather than bat at 6.
As you said, this is pretty much going to be the XI for the first test irrespective of what we think:
So if every one stays fit, that's pretty much the team we are likely to see for the first test, anyways if Siddle doesn't recover from his injury in time for this series, then who should be his replacement, my picks would be either Harris or Magoffin, both are very good seam bowlers and might prove more than useful in South African conditions.
I think the major Aussie problem is to get the required 20 wickets to win the game, because despite all the grey areas in the batting department, Australia still have managed 350+ totals in the 1st innings of the test matches pretty regularly, so if bowling can be improved upon, Australian chances would get an immense boost.