Vol. 5 Num 568 Sat. December 31, 2005  

Langer named for final Test

Experienced opening batsman Justin Langer has been included in the Australian team for the third Test against South Africa, which begins on Monday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Langer, who is lining up for his 97th Test appearance, will play subject to a fitness test, selectors said Friday.

Langer missed Australia's 184-run victory in the second Melbourne Test with a strained hamstring, but indications are that the 35-year-old left-hander has made positive progress in his recovery here this week.

Phil Jaques, who replaced Langer in Melbourne, has been kept on standby in case Langer does not play in Sydney.

"Justin is back in the squad subject to fitness," said the chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns.

"It was a logical decision for us to have him back in the team, particularly given his record and seniority within the group.

"Phil Jaques is held in high regard and will be on standby should he be required."

Aside from Langer's inclusion, Australia retained the same squad for the third Test.

Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Brad Hodge, Mike Hussey, Justin Langer, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Glenn McGrath, Andrew Symonds, Shane Warne, Nathan Bracken, Phil Jaques (on standby for Langer).