Jaques fly home, Hodge may fly to India

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Sydney, Oct 18 (UNI) Victorian batsman Brad Hodge may get a call-up to the Australian squad to replace injured opener Phil Jaques for the ongoing tour of India.

Hodge made 104 and 23 for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield match against South Australia this week and is just 14 runs shy of breaking Dean Jones's record for most Victorian first-class runs scored (10,412).

Jaques returned home yesterday due to a back problem that has worsened since he arrived in India last month.

Jaques arrived as Matthew Hayden's first-choice opening partner but was elbowed out of the slot by his new South Wales (NSW) captain Simon Katich ahead of the first Test and has struggled to make it to the nets since due to the back complaint.

Team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said Jaques' problem now required the attention of a specialist.

''Phil has had a long standing problem with his lower back that has been manageable up until now,'' he said.

''The point has come where the injury is significantly limiting his ability to play, so he will return to Australia to seek specialist opinion on the best course of action.'' Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch will mull over the choice of a replacement over the next few days before naming him towards the end of the second Test against India currently being played in Mohali.

Other candidates for a call-up should include West Australians Shaun Marsh and Luke Pomersbach.

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