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View Full Version : Rotation policy to give Cullen debut - Andrew Ramsey, The Australian


Imtiazk
April 14, 2006, 05:27 PM
THE revolving door leading to Australia's ever-changing Test team seems likely to spin again with two key members of the bowling line-up in doubt for the second Test against Bangladesh that starts in Chittagong tomorrow.


Brett Lee is almost certain to miss the game due to physical and mental exhaustion after a ridiculously heavy workload over the past month.
And a decision on whether record-breaking leg-spinner Shane Warne will be risked for the final Test of the tour will be made today, or shortly before the game begins at 2pm (AEST) tomorrow.
Should Warne be ruled out, uncapped South Australian off-spinner Daniel Cullen is expected to be called up for his Test debut, after joining the touring party as a back-up bowler on Wednesday.
Captain Ricky Ponting yesterday confirmed he would meet selector on duty Merv Hughes, who arrived in Chittagong yesterday, to air his fears about the potential long-term damage facing his bowlers.
Lee was called on to perform with the bat and ball during Australia's narrow victory in the first Test in Dhaka, and has admitted privately that he is more exhausted now that any previous stage of his international career.
The 29-year-old has been playing non-stop since October and has led the attack in the absence of Glenn McGrath since early in the new year, which included the recent schedule of four Tests in as many weeks in South Africa and Bangladesh.
With a 1-0 series lead and fresh players waiting in the wings, Ponting has admitted that his previous misgivings about rotating players would "go out the window" given the workload concerns.
"It's getting to that stage," Ponting said in answer to suggestions that Australia might be forced to forego its long-held policy of selecting a Test line-up based on form and playing conditions alone.
"If you had been in our dressing room (during the first Test) and been able to see just how fatigued and exhausted some of the players are, I think everyone would be quite surprised. It's been a bit of a worry for me. It was a bit of a worry going into the last Test in South Africa and we obviously had a tough game there and then we had a very short turnaround and (played) in pretty tough conditions here.
"We are going to have a really good look at a few of the guys. That was on the cards coming into this game, I was a little bit worried about a couple of our fast bowlers in particular and the workload they've had through South Africa.
"The last thing we want is guys going into this second Test match that are fatigued and ending up with an injury that could put them out for a long period of time."
Also on the agenda for Ponting's discussion with Hughes was whether they stuck with the plan of five specialist bowlers which was employed in the first Test.
Given that conditions in Chittagong are expected to mirror the dry, dusty pitch used in Dhaka, a five-man bowling attack seems almost guaranteed. But the selectors will debate if Mitchell Johnson should be employed behind the likely new-ball pairing of Stuart Clark and Jason Gillespie, or whether all-rounder Andrew Symonds is a better option.
The fact that the middle-order batting faltered badly in both innings in Dhaka, the inclusion of Symonds provides depth with the bat as well as a third seam option if required. And if Cullen is brought in to replace Warne, then the prospect of blooding two debutants would represent a gamble against an opponent that has already shown it cannot be underestimated in home conditions