The Northern Territory news Tue 6 Jan 2015
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36 SPORT TUESDAY JANUARY 6 2015 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 AustrAliAn Xi David Warner Chris Rogers Shane Watson Steve Smith (capt) Shaun Marsh Joe Burns Brad Haddin Mitchell Starc Ryan Harris Josh Hazlewood Nathan Lyon POssiBlE indiAn Xi Murali Vijay Lokesh Rahul Rohit Sharma Cheteshwar Pujara Virat Kohli (capt) Ajinkya Rahane Wriddhiman Saha Ravichandaran Ashwin Mohammed Shami Umesh Yadav Ishant Sharma FOurtH tEst AustrAliA v indiA sCG, 10Am tOdAY advertiser.com.au mAtCH CEntrE Live scores, video highLights and aLL the stats liVE BlOG every baLL, every run, every wicket Illness clouds Watson choice A U S T R A L I A y e s t e r d a y named Shane Watson for the emotion-charged Sydney Test against India, despite the allrounders battle with an upset stomach. A pale-looking Watson batted in the nets at the SCG yesterday but did not appear to have fully recovered from an illness which cut short his training session without facing a ball on Sunday. He said he was feeling better last night, Australian captain Steve Smith said yesterday. Hopefully hell be right. Smith announced one change to his side for todays dead-rubber fourth Test. Mitchell Starc has replaced fellow left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson who has a minor hamstring problem. Spinner Ashton Agar has been released to return to the Perth Scorchers BBL team. Peter Siddle, who was vying with Starc for a pace-bowling role alongside Ryan Harris and Josh Hazlewood, will stay on for day one before hes also released for BBL duties with the Melbourne Renegades. Australia leads the fourTest series two-nil and has regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as Smith tries to hold his team together emotionally in what is shaping up as a week dominated by memories of former Test batsman Phillip Hughes. Hughes died after he was felled by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG in November and his former teammates will return to the same centre-wicket area today in whats sure to be test ing time. Smith has indicated hell be more aggressive with his captaincy in Sydney after his lunchtime declaration on day five of the Melbourne Boxing Day Test shut the tourists out of the game but also failed to give Australias bowlers enough time to take 10 wickets, falling four short of victory. To have the series wrapped up, we can play a little bit more relaxed and not have that extra pressure of having to win this Test match, Smith said. If the same thing comes around again Im sure Ill be a bit more aggressive. Australias selectors however have adopted a no-risk policy with Johnson. Australias tri-series of onedayers against England and India starts on January 16 at the SCG, followed by the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29. Smith said Johnson probably would have played if the series was on the line. He has got a little hamstring strain, Smith said. Theres no secret theres a pretty big summer coming up and we want him to be fresh for the one-dayers and the World Cup. We dont want to risk him and hopefully hell be right for those. Johnsons fellow left-armer Starc has been recalled for the 11th time in what will be his 15th Test in a career which has so far included 45 wickets at 36.22. Smith says Starcs late-December form with the Sydney Sixers has been encouraging with the left-armer reaching speeds of 150km/h and taking three wickets in two games. By GREG BUCKLE Hughes brothers in arms to line up at SCG NSW players stood arm in arm as their beloved former teammate Phillip Hughes fought for his life on the hallowed turf of the Sydney Cricket Ground. Brad Haddin was the first to his side with arms outstretched. David Warner clutched Hughess hand as he left the centre square by medicab. Shane Watson, Nathan Lyon and Starc sat anxiously in the Members Pavilion saying their prayers. Steve Smith sped from a physio appointment to the ground in the blink of an eye, and fellow country boy Josh Hazlewood, who had known Hughes since he was a young teenager, also came to the SCG to join his panic-stricken teammates. Its fitting then, that those seven NSW men, like brothers to Hughes, will all line up in the Australian team for the first Sydney Test since Hughess tragic death in late November. The last time there were more New South Welshman in a Test XI, it was 1921 in South Africa, when nine took the field in Durban. The Blue-wash is a reflection of NSWs undeniable dominance in the domestic game, but also fittingly symbolic of where Hughes has come from. Hughes loved the SCG more than any ground in the world, and now forever he will watch over it with a bronzed image of his face yesterday installed outside the home dressing rooms, at the top of the players race. Hughesy was one of us. He was one of our good mates, said Australian captain, Smith. Particularly this week, its going to be great to be able to walk past that (plaque) and see the little fella there to give us a bit of inspiration as were going out on the field. Todays SCG Test is all about the Hughes family, who will bravely travel down from Macksville for the deeply emotional occasion. From Smith to Indian captain Virat Kohli, respecting the Hughes clan is paramount over the next five days. Thats very important to us and very important to them, said Smith. Hopefully we can do them proud by playing well this week. Smith salutes terrific careers by Harris, Rogers THE workhorse fast bowler and the old-fashioned opener may not get to play in another Test on home soil and Australian skipper Steve Smith is determined to ensure theyre remembered. Paceman Ryan Harris, 35, has enjoyed a more high-profile run at the top level than 19 Test veteran Chris Rogers, 37. Despite knee problems, Harris has become one of Australias all-time leading strike bowlers. The Queensland quick has claimed 111 wickets at a superb average of 22.77 in 26 Tests, striking every 49.2 deliveries. Left-hander Rogers scored two centuries in last summers five-nil Ashes sweep and made another hundred on the 2014 tour of South Africa. The Victorians four half-centuries in the past two Tests against India have placed the 19-Test veteran firmly in the frame for a place in the Australian side for the first Ashes Test in Cardiff in July. Harris is a certainty for the Ashes, should his body hold up well enough. Those guys have had ter rific careers, Smith said yesterday ahead of todays fourth and final Test against India at the SCG. Chris Rogers has had an exceptional career and done a terrific job for us at the top there. He really complements Davey Warner the way he plays and gets us through that new ball more often than not. Smith described Harris as a workhorse. Hes been a terrific performer over a long period of time, Smith said. Rogers has stated the 2015 Ashes tour would be his ideal swan song. Harris and 37-yearold Test vice-captain Brad Haddin have not been as specific in signposting the end of their international careers. By GREG BUCKLE RYAN HARRIS Age: 35 Born: Sydney, Oct 11 1979 State team: Qld Test debut: v New Zealand, Wellington, March 2010 Wickets: 111 at 22.77 in 26 matches Five wickets in an innings: 5 times Best: 7/117 CHRIS ROGERS Age: 37 Born: Sydney, Aug 31 1977 State team: Victoria Test debut: v India, Perth, Jan 2008 Runs: 1384 at 37.40 in 19 matches Centuries: four Highest score: 119 By BEN HORNE Steve Smith prepares for his first home SCG test as Australian Test captain Picture: PHIL HILLYARD