Windies wait on injured Sarwan

Guyanan batsman could miss Brisbane Test with back problem

Last Updated: 25/11/09 3:02pm

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Sarwan: back injury

Sarwan: back injury

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West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan is a doubt for the first Test against Australia due to a back injury.

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"We're all big men here so we just have to handle our business out there in the middle, regardless of what's been happening off the field."
Chris Gayle Quotes of the week

Sarwan suffered the problem while taking part in a fielding drill on Wednesday.

He remained on the floor for several minutes at Allan Border Field before being helped off the ground by team physiotherapist CJ Clark.

The first Test starts at the 'Gabba on Thursday and a decision on the Guyanan right-hander's participation will be left until shortly before the toss.

West Indies will be loath to lose the experienced Sarwan - who made 73 and 66 in the tourists' only warm-up fixture against Queensland - from their top order as skipper Chris Gayle has only just returned to Australia after rushing home to Jamaica last week to be at the bedside of his ill mother.

Gayle will play in the first Test but is likely to be suffering from the effects of jet lag following his arrival in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Alternative plan

If Sarwan is ruled out, Gayle revealed either Travis Dowlin or Narsingh Deonarine would take his place.

"It's not good news, but we're going to keep our fingers crossed and hopefully tomorrow he'll be fit," Gayle said.

"He got some runs in the last game so he's in good nick. To lose him at this point in time, it's a crucial point in time, but if that's the case then someone will have to step up and make a giant contribution."

Gayle conceded his own preparation for the series opener had not been ideal.

"It will be difficult but I am committed to it, it doesn't make sense to sit around and watch the team," he added.

"It is always difficult to come in the day before a Test match but what I am trying to do is prepare mentally.

"I will try and lead from the front, it won't be easy but at the same time I am mentally ready, and after hitting the balls in the nets today I am feeling pretty confident.

"It's something you have to deal with, it's not the best thing you want, but we're not looking for any excuse.

"We're all big men here so we just have to handle our business out there in the middle, regardless of what's been happening off the field."

Bollinger on ice

Australia have kept faith with the players who surrendered the Ashes in England three months ago.

Left-arm paceman Doug Bollinger, preferred to New South Wales team-mate Stuart Clark in a 12-man party, is the only member of the hosts' squad who did not tour England.

Vice-captain Michael Clarke and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin have recovered from the finger and back injuries that forced them to miss the recent one-day series in India.

Skipper Ricky Ponting confirmed that off-spinner Nathan Hauritz will feature in Brisbane, having been overlooked for the Ashes decider at the Oval, meaning Bollinger will carry the drinks.

"There is a great opportunity for Nathan in the coming Test matches to really grab hold of the spinner's position in our team with both hands," Ponting said.

"His performances in the early Test matches of the Ashes series were very good, I think they probably exceeded some of our expectations on the way we thought he could bowl, so that was a real positive.

"He's always been a very good one-day bowler and we want to keep developing him as a Test bowler and he'll get a good opportunity to do that over the next few days."

Hauritz boasts a first-class bowling average of 64.10 at the 'Gabba, formerly his home ground before he switched states from Queensland to New South Wales in 2006.

Australia: M Clarke, B Haddin (wkt), N Hauritz, B Hilfenhaus, M Hussey, M Johnson, S Katich, M North, R Ponting (capt), P Siddle, S Watson
12th man: D Bollinger

West Indies (from): A Barath, S Benn, D Bravo, S Chanderpaul, N Deonarine, T Dowlin, C Gayle (capt), B Nash, D Ramdin (wkt), R Rampaul, K Roach, D Sammy, R Sarwan, J Taylor, G Tonge

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