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Page last updated at 08:05 GMT, Friday, 3 October 2008 09:05 UK

Aussie spinner out of India tour

Ricky Ponting and Bryce McGain
Australia captain Ricky Ponting consoles a disappointed McGain

Australia spinner Bryce McGain has been ruled out of the Test series in India.

The 36-year-old has flown home after suffering a recurrence of a shoulder strain he sustained in September.

The uncapped McGain was expected to be Australia's first-choice spinner for the four-Test series, which begins in Bangalore on 9 October.

Off-spinner Jason Krejza is set to take his place in the team. Cricket Australia are yet to decide who will replace McGain in the squad.

"The panel will make an assessment in the coming days and determine the appropriate course of action," said a statement.

McGain was injured on Australia A's tour of India in September.

He had struggled to bowl in the nets as Australia made their final preparations for the Test series in India, and was unable to take his place in the Australians' final tour match against a Board President's XI starting in Hyderabad on Thursday.


He was eventually ruled out of the first Test, but was sent home after the medical team decided he would not be available for the majority of the tour.

It is a bitter pill to swallow for McGain who, until March this year, still worked in the IT department of a bank in Melbourne.

But following a meteoric rise in his first full Pura Cup season - Australia's equivalent of the County Championship - he had unexpectedly forced himself into the Test picture.

McGain told BBC Sport last week he was even prepared to look ahead at a possible dream Ashes tour in 2009.

"It would be fantastic," he said. "It's such a wonderful series and I've enjoyed watching it for many, many years."

Should they decide to replace McGain, Australia could draft in Beau Casson, a 25-year-old slow left-armer who made a Test debut in Barbados in June.

Beyond Krejza, their only other option is Michael Clarke's part-time spin. Andrew Symonds is not in the squad for disciplinary reasons and there is little prospect of the all-rounder being called up.

Cricket Australia's acting chief executive Michael Brown said: "From a cricket perspective we would love to have Andrew back when he's ready, but at this stage that question hasn't been asked.

"Andrew is working through what he needs to work through with the people close to him and we're supporting him in every way we can."

Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council has kept umpires Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson off the roster for the series.

The duo officiated in the ill-tempered Sydney Test between the two nations in January which almost saw India pulling out of the series after a string of controversial decisions.

see also
India name Ganguly in Test squad
01 Oct 08 |  Cricket
Tendulkar boost for Aussie Tests
26 Sep 08 |  Cricket
Australians commit to India tour
16 Sep 08 |  Cricket
Symonds vows to improve behaviour
16 Sep 08 |  Australia
Australia gamble on spin rookies
12 Sep 08 |  Cricket
Australia in India 2008
09 Apr 08 |  Cricket

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