Rattled Australia make four changes for third Ashes Test

Left-arm spinner Michael Beer, who made his first-class debut only two months ago but has the backing of spin legend Shane Warne, also made the cut.

Beer replaced Xavier Doherty in the squad for the Test starting Dec 16 at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground (WACA) in Perth.

Seamer Doug Bollinger was another bowler to face the axe. He will be replaced by either Mitchell Johnson or Ben Hilfenahaus in the final eleven.

"Both Mitchell and Ben did not play in Adelaide but will be strongly considered for selection in the Perth Test match where conditions will suit them.

Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle were the pick of our quicks at the Adelaide Oval and these four make up the pace attack for the Perth Test match," said Andrew Hilditch, chairman of the national selection panel.

Philip Hughes replaced Simon Katich while Steve Smith was picked ahead of Marcus North in the batting department.

This is obviously disappointing for Marcus who has played some outstanding Test innings for Australia but it was felt to be the right time to bring the exciting prospect (Steve) into the Test team.

He has already had success at international level and will also add to the bowling depth with his leg spin bowling and dynamic fielding.

The 12-man squad:

Ricky Ponting (captain)
Michael Clarke (vice-captain)
Michael Beer
Brad Haddin
Ryan Harris
Phillip Hughes
Ben Hilfenhaus
Mike Hussey
Mitchell Johnson
Peter Siddle
Steven Smith
Shane Watson

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