Rogers and Tait in for 3rd Test

Chris Rogers, 30, is set to make his Test debut at his home ground the WACA, with Matthew Hayden ruled out of the third Test against India with injury. Hayden is struggling with a hamstring problem, meaning that Rogers will open the batting alongside Phil Jaques.

After the retirement of Justin Langer last year, Jaques and Rogers were the front runners to audition as a permanent replacement. An appendix problem ruled Rogers out of contention for the series against Sri Lanka, and Jaques took his opportunity by scoring heavily in domestic cricket. Ultimately Jaques received the call to service and has since counted 2 centuries among his 573 runs in 6 Tests. Now the two will open the batting together for the first time as one of Australia’s most inexperienced Test opening pairs.

“He’s over the moon and has some good form under his belt leading into his Test,” said Ponting. “Playing in home conditions will be a great advantage. It probably wouldn’t matter where he debuted but just to walk out on your own turf and mark centre in a Test will be a great thrill for him.”

Rogers has scored 8436 first class runs at an average of 47.93 with 22 hundreds and a highest score of 319.

Shaun Tait is also to play at the WACA, returning to Tests for the first time since the 2005 Ashes. “Tait gives us balance,” said a visibly delighted Ponting. “Tait and Lee will be our impact bowlers – it gives Lee a bit more leeway about going all out, not conserving his energy for the second innings. I’m really excited. The wicket looks good, has a bit of grass and it’s getting back to WACA of old.”

Ponting admitted that Tait had some stiffness after practice yesterday, but stated that the fast bowler has since been pronounced fit. “He’s been waiting in the wings all of this season. He’s been bowling fact and not had an opportunity,” said Ponting, “Our coach went and watched him in the Twenty20 game and said his pace was right up there.”

Australia 3rd Test team
Ricky Ponting (c), Adam Gilchrist (wk), Chris Rogers, Phil Jaques, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Brett Lee, Stuart Clark, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait.

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