Melbourne: Dec 22, 2011
Former captain Mark Taylor feels that either one of Ricky Ponting or Mike Hussey should be dropped for the first Test against India here to make room for both the all-rounder Dan Christian and recovering batsman Shaun Marsh in the top six.
Taylor made a strong pitch for the inclusion of Christian to give skipper Michael Clarke a fifth bowler if the MCG conditions favour swing and seam movement, and believes Marsh, if fit, should be brought back to shore up the top order.
"I'd be interested to see what this wicket is like on the morning of the game. If the wicket's got a bit in it I would be tempted to play Dan Christian, because if you look at the last Test in Hobart (against New Zealand), our bowling attack still bowled very well but we probably lacked that fourth seamer on day one," Taylor said.
"It would have been nice in that situation to have Shane Watson in the team. With that in mind, ideally it would be nice to have another one. So if there's a bit in the pitch and you're thinking at all about bowling first I dare say he will come into calculations," he said.
Taylor favours playing both Christian and Marsh and that would mean that one of Ponting and Hussey will have to sit out of the first Test starting here on December 26.
"I reckon they (Christian and Marsh) could both play, which would mean leaving out one of the senior blokes. I don't know [which one], I'm leaving that with the selectors. But in this era we have got to start being more open about our cricket team," Taylor was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
"I don't speak to selectors all that often but I reckon they would be prepared to do it. I don't think the Indians are going all that well either so you really want to pick the side you think is going to win the first Test and if that means you've got to pick Dan Christian to be a fourth seamer and a number six batsman, they should."
Taylor said leaving out Ponting, 37, or Hussey, 36, while a bold call, should not be seen as the end of the road of their career in the era of rotations for Test players.
"It could well (end their career) but not necessarily.
If, for example, you left out a Hussey or a Ponting you don't necessarily leave them out in Sydney. I think you can afford to be that flexible."(PTI)