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Hauritz replaces Krejza for Boxing Day Test

December 25, 2008 19:08 IST

Nathan Hauritz will replace fellow off-spinner Jason Krejza in Australia's playing eleven for the crucial second Test against South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne starting on Friday.

Hauritz is the only replacement for the hosts as star all-rounder Andrew Symonds, struggling with a knee injury, retained his place in the side.

Symonds would not bowl medium pace in the match but would share responsibility in the spin department, Australia captain Ricky Ponting said on Thursday.

Symonds' place in the team was confirmed after he had a decent outing in the nets this morning.

Ponting termed Krejza's dropping from the Boxing Day Test as a "harsh call" soon after his impressive debut in India where he scalped 12 wickets.

Ponting also expressed optimism that Hauritz would make an impact on the second Test.

"Hopefully he can do the job that we all want to see from him and hopefully that makes the jobs on the other bowlers in our side just that little bit easier as well," he said. 

"That's the reason he's here... I think he'll be in a better position to be able to play that role that we require than Jason probably would have been." 

The Australian captain was also happy with the recovery of Symonds.

"The last three or four days it's improved dramatically from where it was at the end of the Perth game," Ponting said.

"He does feel a lot better with it, he's had a number of scans and a number of experts have a look at it so it is really now just about management through this game and then through the next Test match."

Ponting conceded although the 33-year-old allrounder won't be able to bowl his medium-pacers, he and vice-captain Michael Clarke would help Hauritz in the spin department.

"I think there's a bit of an opportunity in this game as well to use him a bit more and Michael Clarke a bit more with their part-time spin to try and keep our quicks a little bit fresher as the day and the game goes on," he said. 

South Africa have retained the same squad that registered the historic run chase in the series opener in Perth.

Australian squad: Ricky Ponting (c), Matthew Hayden, Simon Katich, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Nathan Hauritz.

South African squad: Graeme Smith (c), Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Neil McKenzie, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn.

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