|Player:||SM Katich, GB Hogg, NW Bracken, ML Hayden, PA Jaques, MJ Cosgrove|
DateLine: 8th September 2006
Australia’s coach John Buchanan said the forthcoming tri-series in Malaysia would be crucial to decide on three slots in his team for next year’s World Cup. Buchanan pointed out that the Australian selectors would be keen to firm up an opening batting position along with that of a spinner and third seamer in the two-week tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
Simon Katich, Brad Hogg and Nathan Bracken - all ODIs regulars since the 2005 Ashes tour in England - will get their chances in the preparatory tournament to next month's ICC Champions' Trophy in India.
The coach added competition for places would be fierce ahead of the World Cup in the Caribbean next April and May.
Katich has been given the green signal as an opening batsman for the Champions Trophy, but the Malaysian tri-series selections of Matt Hayden, Phil Jaques and Mark Cosgrove have him under scrutiny.
Buchanan indicated all players in the 18-man squad would be rotated to enable equal playing time over four preliminary matches and a possible final in Kuala Lumpur. "If you look at the make-up of the side, the selectors have definitely targeted the opening spot, the spinning spot and the pace bowling spots as areas that we need to make sure we finalize the right person or persons to give us the best 15 to take to the World Cup," Buchanan told reporters on Friday. "But in terms of one-day cricket, we are playing in conditions in KL and India that will have a deal of similarity to the World Cup so they become very important in that regard."