Melbourne:The Indian cricket team arrived in Melbourne to get a clear message from Australia, who named paceman Shaun Tait in their 12-man squad for the first of the four-Test series, starting here on Boxing Day. The selectors have also named left-arm spinner Brad Hogg.
With first preference spinner Stuart MacGill injured, the Australian selectors had no choice but to bring in specialist one-day spinner Hogg. However, they had a choice between Tait and swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus. They opted for the raw pace of the South Australian.
Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said Hilfenhaus had come into the Australian squad in Brisbane against Sri Lanka in place of the injured Tait, who had now recovered.
"Shaun regains his place in the Australian squad, having been our initial selection in Brisbane," he said.
Hilditch said the injury to MacGill had forced a change to the Australian side that beat Sri Lanka 2-0 in November.
Hilditch said Hogg forced his way into the squad on the basis of his Pura Cup performance and also his good showing in the one-dayers. "Brad deserves the opportunity to once again represent Australia in Test cricket."
The Indian squad arrived in Melbourne this morning and will play a three-day tour match against Victoria at the Junction Oval in St Kilda starting Thursday.
Indian captain Anil Kumble said selectors were undecided on the make-up of the team for the first Test and would not make any decisions until after the tour match and when they had inspected the MCG pitch.
Australian squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist (vice-captain), Phil Jaques, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Brad Hogg, Michael Clarke.