Adelaide, Jan 10 : Aussies are expected to select fast bowler Shaun Tait against Team India in the third Test at Perth, known to have a fast and hard wicket. The Test begins next Wednesday.
Tait is expected to replace spinner Brad Hogg. This would be first time in 16 years that Australia has gone into a home Test without a specialist spinner.
Presently, Aussies are leading 2-0 in the five Test series.
According to a report in AdelaideNow, Tait's pace bowling makes him a favourite as compared to spinner Hogg, whose inability to be a matchwinner at the SCG will count against him.
Hogg's chances of playing have been further jeopardised by a finger injury, albeit to his non-bowling hand, and his abuse hearing next week.
WACA curator Cam Sutherland also hinted at Tait's selection. "Spinners haven't really been used here all season, they have only been bowling five to 10 overs in the second innings of Pura Cup matches," Sutherland said, and added: "The pace and bounce for the quicks is a real factor here at the moment. I think you would get more value playing an extra quick rather than playing a spinner."
Australia has not gone into a Test on home soil without a specialist spinner since 1992 when Craig McDermott, Merv Hughes, Paul Reiffel and Mike Whitney locked horns with India in Perth.
It has always been reluctant to play without a spinner, but it has generally had Shane Warne or Stuart MacGill to call on.
Australian coach Tim Nielsen revealed Tait was a huge chance to play in Perth. "Taity has been bowling beautifully fast and I thought he was terrific for SA this week. He made a small total of 97 look like about 150," he added.
Batsmen used to have nightmares about facing Dennis Lillee on the world's deadliest pitch in Perth but in recent years have daydreamed about making big scores on the lifeless pitch. But fresh clay deposits with the same properties as the base that gave the pitch its original scary bounce have helped give the WACA pitch back its extreme pace.