Wed, Nov 29, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Aussies call up cover for Glenn McGrath

AFP , ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

Australian selectors yesterday opted for bowling cover ahead of Friday's second Ashes Test, amid doubts over Glenn McGrath's ability to get through back-to-back Test matches with a heel problem.

South Australian speedster Shaun Tait and Queensland left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson were named in a 13-man squad for the Adelaide Test as insurance for McGrath, but there was no room for leg-spinner Stuart MacGill.

The 36-year-old McGrath left the field several times during Sunday's fourth day of the first Gabba Test to have his left heel treated with painkiller.

He came back to bowl on the final day as Australia wrapped up a 277-run victory over England in the first of the five-Test series.

With only three days between the opening two Tests, selectors sought to have the two fast bowlers on standby, even though Australia is expected to keep the same eleven if everyone is passed fit to play.

McGrath spent yesterday resting his heel, and will have a more strenuous test at training today in extreme heat, however teammate Mike Hussey was confident the veteran would play.

"Glenn was [last night] icing his heel, but I'm sure he'll be fine," Hussey said yesterday. "He was able to keep bowling, which was a good sign for Australia."

Australia's strong playing depth meant there was no room for leg-spinner MacGill in the squad.

Stuart Clark and McGrath both took seven wickets at the Gabba, and while Brett Lee was down on his efforts from the past year, Australian bowling coach Troy Cooley expected him to roar back to full throttle.

If McGrath is ruled out it will create a contest between Tait and Johnson, although Johnson was the nominated 12th man at the Gabba.

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