THE omission of "fatigued" Australian fast bowlers Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus has given fast bowlers John Hastings and Josh Hazlewood the oportunity to make their debuts in the crucial third Test against South Africa starting in Perth on Friday.
Siddle and Hilfenhaus were yesterday ruled out by medical staff after shouldering a big workload in the gruelling drawn second Test which finished in Adelaide on Monday.
Australian captain Michael Clarke said he was confident Mitchell Starc and the three quicks added to the squad after Adelaide - Hastings, Mitchell Johnson and Hazlewood - were up to the task of bowling South Africa out twice.
But Clarke said he would wait until the last minute this morning before deciding which player to leave out of the 12-man squad named yesterday.
"I always like having spin in the team. Over a five-day period I think spin will play a part," Clarke said.
Whether that means he goes with Nathan Lyon or uses himself and leggie David Warner will be revealed this morning.
Starc has been 12th man for the first two Tests and is certain to come into the XI.
Fellow leftie Johnson has taken 30 wickets in four Tests on the bouncy WACA track and his form in recent matches and in the nets this week will almost certainly see him included.
The advantage for Australia is that all-rounder Shane Watson has declared himself capable of sending down plenty of overs.
That means Clarke has the option of selecting three specialist fast bowlers plus Watson and Lyon, in which case the final spot would come down to a battle between Hastings and Hazlewood.
Champion South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis is expected to play as a batsman after injuring his hamstring in the Adelaide Test, while Vernon Philander is likely to come back into the side at the expense of spinner Imran Tahir whose figures of 0-260 in Adelaide were the worst in Test history.
M Clarke (c), S Watson (v-c), E Cowan, D Warner, R Ponting, M Hussey, M Wade, M Starc, M Johnson, J Hastings, J Hazlewood, N Lyon (12th man to be named).
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