FORGOTTEN swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus is set to play his first Test since last summer's Ashes series, with Australia opting for an experienced line-up to face India in the Boxing Day Test.
The inclusion of Hilfenhaus for left-armer Mitchell Starc for the MCG clash was the third change to the team following the loss to New Zealand in Hobart earlier this month, in addition to top-order batsmen Shaun Marsh and Ed Cowan replacing Usman Khawaja and Phillip Hughes. The match will mark the debut of Cowan, an in-form opening batsman from Tasmania.
The exclusion of South Australian all-rounder Daniel Christian from the squad for the second successive Test allowed veterans Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey to both remain in the team. It will also mean Australia will face the deep Indian batting line-up without a fifth legitimate bowling option.
Clarke said he was confident he and the other four selectors has chosen "the best XI to help us win this first Test match in these conditions".
He confirmed Hilfenhaus' reputation for being able to bowl long spells helped sway his selection over Starc.
Australian squad for the Boxing Day Test
Michael Clarke (c)
Brad Haddin (vc)
12th: Mitchell Starc
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