Sport

Hastings will rise to the Test challenge: coach

JOHN Hastings will not let Australia down if he is chosen to play in Friday's third Test at the WACA.

The endorsement comes from Victorian coach Greg Shipperd, who is confident Hastings' form this season will transfer nicely into the international arena.

Hastings, 27, Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazelwood have all been added to an extended 14-man Australian squad for the Test in Perth as the National Selection Panel considers whether or not to use a four-pronged pace attack.

Also on the agenda is whether or not pacemen Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus should be rested after their efforts in the Adelaide Test.

Hastings has 22 wickets this season. He claimed 5-66 and made a valuable lower-order 80 in Victoria's defeat by the Redbacks, and would not let his country down, Shipperd said.

"I'm sure the Australian selectors are taking close notice of his performance," he said.

"Australian teams, I know, like batting depth and players that can make a contribution.

"So he'll be in the mix at some stage across the next four Tests with the attrition that's occurring with pace bowlers at the moment."

Meanwhile, Michael Clarke has returned to the top of the international Test batting rankings following his exploits against South Africa.

The 31-year-old regains top place at the expense of Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara, with West Indies star Shivnarine Chanderpaul in third.

Topics:  australia, cricket, perth



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