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It doesn’t seem Ben Hilfenhaus will be able to make Australia’s playing XI for the first test match against Pakistan which is starting this Tuesday in Dubai.
The 31-year old swing bowler from Tasmania did not get to bowl too much in the practice match against the A team of Pakistan. He, in fact, did not bowl at all in the second innings which is a clear hint that that the team management doesn’t see him as one of the first choice players for the series.
Hilfenhaus’ selection in the squad itself for this UAE tour was a big surprise as he had not played test match cricket for a long time and had not left too much of an impression in the last domestic season either. But, perhaps, because of his ability of reverse swing the ball on sluggish pitches, the Aussie selectors included him in the touring party.
The pitches in Emirates generally happen to be dusty ones because of which the ball gets roughened up quite quickly and starts tailing in the direction opposite to the conventional swing and Hilfenhaus’ low arm action helps him to make it happen more efficiently than the other bowlers.
But, with the Dubai pitch also expected to turn big from the 3rd day onwards, Australia has to go with two spinners and that leaves the room for only two quickies in the XI. Mitchell Johnson is the obvious pick for one of those spots and considering Peter Siddle’s consistency over the years, the other spot is expected to go to him. So, Hilfenhaus might have to sit out.
The last time that Hilfenhaus had played in white clothes for Australia was in December 2012. That was a home game for the Kangaroos against Sri Lanka.
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