Doherty set for debut

Tasmanian left as the only spinner in the Australia squad

Last Updated: 23/11/10 11:15am

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Doherty: Only spinner in Australia squad

Doherty: Only spinner in Australia squad

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Spinner Xavier Doherty is set to make his Test debut for Australia in the Ashes opener at the Gabba.

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Doherty is the only spinner left in the squad ahead of Thursday's Test after all-rounder Stephen Smith was released.

Australia could possibly go for an all-pace attack in Brisbane, however Doherty is almost certain to provide balance to the bowling line-up.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has already talked up his fellow Tasmanian, particularly given the fact England dangerman Kevin Pietersen has an apparent weakness against left-arm spinners.

Australia have also retained uncapped batsman Usman Khawaja in their 13-man squad ahead of the first Test.

Khawaja, who disappointed in the Australia A defeat to England, was called up on Monday as cover for vice-captain Michael Clarke.

Clarke, though, is expected to be declared fit to play after coming through Tuesday's nets session with no discomfort in his back.

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