Nielsen talks up Ferguson

Pressure mounts on Hussey and North ahead of Ashes opener

Last Updated: 31/10/10 12:18pm

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Ferguson: Name in the frame

Ferguson: Name in the frame

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Australia coach Tim Nielsen has heaped the pressure on batsmen Mike Hussey and Marcus North by claiming Callum Ferguson has a "big chance" of playing in the first Ashes Test.

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"There's plenty of pressure on spots and plenty for the selectors to think about."
Tim Nielsen Quotes of the week

Ferguson strengthened his claims for a Test call-up with an eye-catching 129 off 143 balls for the South Australia Redbacks in their Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia in Adelaide.

Ferguson's impressive form has increased the pressure on left-handers Hussey and North, both of whom failed to shine in the Shield clash amid criticism of their recent international performances.

And Nielsen admits Ferguson is one of a handful of young players in contention for the first Test in Brisbane on November 25.

"I think he's a big chance, runs do the talking don't they?" he said.

Panic

"He's gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years. He's come back from injury and made runs whenever he's been given the opportunity.

"All he can keep doing is making sure that whenever the opportunity comes he puts his best foot forward and gets runs.

"There's plenty of pressure on spots and plenty for the selectors to think about."

Hussey, 35, was dismissed for a golden duck in the Shield showdown while North fell for 10, but Nielsen said both would be given every chance to prove their worth.

Hussey has managed just two centuries in almost two years and Nielsen admits: "It'd be nice for (Hussey) to get some runs, but we can't panic too much.

"The thing for Huss would be to get a couple of really big scores to confirm in his mind that he's back in form.

"When North goes back to the domestic level he plays well. The challenge for us and for him is to show he can be consistent at that top level."

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