Hopes likely to be 12th man for Australia in first ODI against Pakistan

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Melbourne, Jan 21 (ANI): Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has hinted that all rounder James Hopes could be 12th man with Shaun Marsh opening the innings with Shane Watson in the first ODI against Pakistan on Friday.

The news would be a massive blow for Hopes, who will be replaced by West Australia's Adam Voges for the second match at the SCG on Sunday.

At the time that the squad was announced, chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said the decision to alternate Hopes and Voges in the first two games was made "with a view to ensuring we have flexibility within the squad of 12 players to accommodate the different conditions at each venue."

Asked who would be 12th man on Friday, Ponting said: "It will be one of our batters or Hopes more than likely, we still have to work that out."

Meanwhile, Ponting spoke glowingly of Marsh and called him a potential match-winner.

"He (Marsh) is an ultra talented player that has just started to have those breakout performances at international level that everyone needs to really believe in themselves," FOX Sports quoted Ponting, as saying.

"He is a player that when he is playing at his best can certainly win a lot of games for us," the skipper said. (ANI)

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