36-year-old McGain to debut for Oz, replaces sick Marcus North for Cape Town Test

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Cape Town (South Africa), Mar.19 (ANI): Thirty-six-year-old Victorian leg spinner Bryce McGain achieved a cherished dream on Thursday, when he was told that he would be making his Test debut for Australia in the third and final Test against South Africa.

The match starts from today.

McGain replaced off-spinning all rounder Marcus North, who was sent to hospital on Wednesday night and was still there when the third Test was about to start.

McGain is making his debut one week short of his 37th birthday, reports The Australian.

North is suffering from a severe bout of gastroenteritis and was on a rehydration drip when the team was announced. He had been violently ill for the 24 hours before being admitted to hospital.

A lot of the team and family members have been laid low during the tour and McGain missed the second innings of the tour game because of a similar problem in Potchefstroom.

The leg spinner becomes the oldest Australian player to make his debut since Bob Holland played his first game at the age of 38 years and 35 days in November 1984.

The Australians appear to have been forced into making the change.

Captain Ricky Ponting said on the eve of the match that he did not think McGain would play even though Newlands was known to take spin.

However, with North ill the selectors have been caught short. There are no back-up batsmen in the squad, a fact Ponting pointed out the day before the Test.

There were however, three bowlers available with McGain, Nathan Hauritz, Doug Bollinger and Brett Geeves in the squad.

Ponting seemed to reject the notion of bringing in a spinner for the match.

The South Africans brought in Imraan Khan for Neil McKenzie, Ashwell Prince for Graeme Smith and Albie Morkel for his brother Morne. (ANI)

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