Cricket: Tait to bolster Aussies in Hobart

Shaun Tait. Photo / Getty Images
Shaun Tait. Photo / Getty Images

Pace bowler Shaun Tait's return from a minor back complaint should be a major positive for Australia in today's second one-day international against England in Hobart.

It should be, but as usual another injury or illness has popped up in the squad and this time Tait's fellow speedster Mitchell Johnson is unavailable because of a throat infection.

Johnson will be assessed for a possible recall for Sunday's third game at the SCG, but Australia are also juggling injury concerns in their batting line-up.

World Cup squad members Ricky Ponting (broken finger) and Mike Hussey (hamstring surgery) are both unlikely to play again in the seven-game ODI series against England, after Hussey broke down in Sunday's six-wicket win at the MCG.

Shaun Marsh has been called into the squad to replace Hussey and is set to play in Hobart, according to captain Michael Clarke.

Clarke said reserve wicketkeeper Tim Paine's recall to the side as a batter only was "possible but unlikely".

"With Shaun Marsh coming into the squad, he's more than likely going to play as a replacement for Mike Hussey," Clarke said.

"I've got to speak to the selectors to see what their thoughts are but I would doubt that Tim will play this game as a batsman."

Meanwhile, Clarke has told his bowlers and fielders they need to lift after conceding 14 wides, dropping a catch, missing three stumpings, taking a wicket off a no-ball and fumbling a run out chance last Sunday.

"Our bowling and our fielding for the first 30 overs of the game was as bad as I've seen and played in," Clarke said.

"The whole team is aware of that."

Australia are yet to name a side for today's game and Clarke suggested the aggressive opening pairing of Shane Watson and Brad Haddin, who added 110 in game one, may need to show some caution early.

"The wicket (for Tasmania's Twenty20 game against Victoria on January 11) looked like it had a bit of grass on it, a bit more pace and bounce and a little bit of swing under the lights," Clarke said.

"We might have to go a little bit easier at the start of our innings to not lose too many wickets and cash in later on in the innings.

"We've got a lot of improvement to do definitely with the ball and in the field at the start of our innings especially."

Australia squad: Michael Clarke (capt), Brad Haddin, Shane Watson, Shaun Marsh, Cameron White, David Hussey, Steve Smith, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Shaun Tait, Doug Bollinger, John Hastings, Tim Paine.

WHAT: 2nd ODI, Australia v England

WHERE: Bellerive Oval, Hobart

WHEN: 4.30pm NZT

TV: Sky Sport


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