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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 November 2007, 07:37 GMT
Australia name squad for new era
Australia opener Phil Jaques playing against Bangladesh in April 2006
Jaques scored 66 in his last Test match appearance 18 months ago
Australia have announced their squad for the new era with Phil Jaques and Brad Hogg in a 13-man squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka.

It is Australia's first Test series since Justin Langer, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne retired after the Ashes.

Jaques opens with Matthew Hayden while spinner Hogg will vie with Stuart MacGill for Warne's place.

Pace bowler Shaun Tait was in the squad but is out with an elbow injury and has been replaced by Ben Hilfenhaus.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch admitted the experience of picking a Test side after the retirements of three great players was daunting.


"It's the first time any of us have sat down and named a side that doesn't include the greats like Warne and McGrath," he said.

"But we're confident about the new era of Australian cricket which starts at the Gabba on Thursday (8 November)."

MacGill, 36, is likely to get the nod over Hogg, but Hilditch wants to see all 13 players train before making a final decision.

"We are replacing someone who will never be replaced in Warne," he said.

"But in Stuart MacGill we're really confident, he's a class leg-spinner with a great Test record.

"Having both in the squad gives us the opportunity to assess the conditions and then decide which selection is best."

Left-handed Jaques, 28, is set for only his third Test appearance, and first for 18 months.

MacGill, who has played 40 Tests in a career spanning nine years, said: "I'm close to taking 200 Test wickets and that will be an interesting one for me because I know I've only got two wickets to get there.

"If I get a game, then two wickets isn't enough really. I think it'll be a case of 'yep that's good, got that - now move on', and look forward to taking more and more wickets."

Hilfenhaus and left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson, who is the favourite to get the nod, are competing to take over from McGrath and joing Brett Lee and Stuart Clark in the pace attack.

Australia squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden, Brad Hogg, Michael Hussey, Phil Jaques, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Andrew Symonds, Shaun Tait.

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