Fri, Oct 17, 2003 - Page 22 News List

Brad Williams will face Zimbabwe in debut for Aussies

AP , SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Fast bowler Brad Williams will make his test debut for Australia against Zimbabwe in the second and final cricket test at the Sydney Cricket Ground today.

Williams, 28, who had been called up five times before but never made past as 12th man, will form a three-pronged pace attack for Steve Waugh as the home side looks to claim the series 2-0.

Australia hammered Zimbabwe by an innings and 175 runs in the opening test that was dominated by opener Matthew Hayden's record 380 runs -- the highest individual test innings in history.

Fast bowler Brett Lee, with 129 wickets, will spearhead the attack that includes medium paceman Andy Bichel, who has 48 wickets in 16 tests.

It is the weakest Australian bowling lineup in more than two years -- the experienced duo of Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie are sidelined for this test with leg injuries. Also ruled out of the test are batsman Darren Lehmann, who has a ruptured Achilles tendon, and legspinner Stuart MacGill with a torn calf muscle.

Australia recalled batsman Simon Katich since his only test appearance against England at Headingley two years ago, and leftarm spinner Brad Hogg, who played against the West Indies in the Caribbean earlier this year.

"It is a different challenge," said Waugh. "There is not a lot of experience in the bowling, and it is a challenge for the rest of us to play the game bit differently."

Australia won the opening test despite being reduced to two frontline bowlers, but Waugh believes the five bowlers will give him a better option.

Katich was preferred to batsman Martin Love to replace Lehmann at No. 6 to provide more bowling option with his leftarm spin. Katich was dropped as one of the 25 contracted players by Cricket Australia after the Ashes tour in 2001. A falling out with Western Australian coach Mark Valletta saw Katich move to Sydney to play for New South Wales.

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