Ashes

Ashes selection stumps Beer

2010-12-10 14:19
Michael Beer (File)

Melbourne - Thrust under an unexpected Ashes spotlight, rookie Australian spinner Michael Beer is stumped by his shock selection for the third Ashes Test against England starting in Perth next Thursday.

With just five first class matches under his belt, the left-arm orthodox spinner was plucked out of obscurity for the unenviable job of combating the in-form English batsman, a task that proved beyond his prececessor Xavier Doherty.

Beer, 26, has taken only 16 first class wickets at an average of just under 40 since he moved from Victoria to Western Australia.

"I was a little bit surprised and I don't think it really sank in until I rang my parents and actually blurted it out myself and thought 'hang on, what's going on here?'," Beer told reporters in Brisbane on Friday.

"Twelve months ago I probably wasn't a professional cricketer, that's in all facets.

"Then Western Australia gave me the opportunity under (coach) Mickey Arthur and they've been really great and backed me."

Australia's decision to ignore off-spinner Nathan Hauritz and Doherty's failure to make any impact in the first two tests, prompted Beer's former St Kilda club team mate Shane Warne to tip the youngster for a test spot.

"I just laughed it off a bit but it's nice when someone of his calibre throws your hat in the ring," said Beer.

"I think I played four games with him, basically when he was just playing test cricket and came back for a few weeks.

"I got dropped for him a couple of times as well so that was interesting."

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