Australia to hand over new ball to Bollinger in Adelaide Test

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Adelaide (Australia), Dec.3 (ANI): New South Wales fast bowler Doug Bollinger will open the bowling for the Australians in the second Test against the West Indies at Adelaide Oval commencing here from Friday.

A Daily Telegraph report said the gregarious left-arm pacer will be given the new ball ahead of Mitchell Johnson despite having played just one Test.

It said Johnson may be the International Cricket Council's player of the year, with 118 wickets in 27 Tests, but Ricky Ponting believes his most experienced paceman is better suited to first change.

"I honestly think he's (Johnson) better suited to that first-change role in Test and one-day cricket and I've spoken to him (Johnson) about that," Ponting told The Australian yesterday.

"The reason things probably went a little bit awry for him at the start of the Ashes was because he was just trying to do too much with the new ball. If he tries to swing it and it doesn't swing, it ends up being a couple of feet from where you need it to be. If you're a couple of feet off with your line and length against good players you pay for that," Ponting added.

Which is not to say Johnson has abandoned thoughts of opening the bowling again, far from it.

"He's continually working on that and getting better with the new ball," Ponting said. "He wants to take the new ball. He wants to be the leader of the attack."

Bollinger played his only Test on his home ground at the SCG against South Africa early this year, when he beat Hilfenhaus to the place vacated by an injured Brett Lee.

Australia won the Test after losing the previous two to fail in a home series for the first time in 17 years, but the swing and consistency of Hilfenhaus was preferred in South Africa and England.

Bollinger did not even make the Ashes squad following the return of Stuart Clark and Lee from injury but with Lee injured again, the 28-year-old's recent irresistible form has earned him the nod ahead of Clark, 34.

"The things we all love about Doug are his energy and enthusiasm to want to bowl," Ponting said.

"He just loves bowling. He keeps things really simple, which was the beauty about him in India. When we had our backs to the wall, he came in off not a great deal of preparation and just charged in and bowled well," Ponting added. (ANI)

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