Alex Doolan ready to wear the baggy green
LIKE every Aussie sports fan this summer Alex Doolan has loved watching Michael Clarke's side put England to the sword, regain the Ashes, and take a 4-0 stranglehold on the series.
Now the Tasmanian batsman could find himself wearing a baggy green for the first time and playing in the final Test at the SCG on Friday as Australia attempts to put the icing on the cake with a series whitewash.
Doolan was yesterday named in Australia's 14-man squad as cover for injured all-rounder and No.3 bat Shane Watson.
Watson injured his groin on day one of the Boxing Day Test, but was able to bowl short spells at reduced pace in both innings during the eight-wicket triumph at the MCG.
He also scored 83 not out as Australia cruised to victory on Sunday, but was still clearly hampered by his injury.
Doolan, 28, averages 37.92 from 53 first class matches and has made 391 Shield runs, including 132 against NSW, at 39.10 this season.
Although he was excited at the prospect of making his Test debut, Doolan said he wasn't hoping for Watson to be ruled out.
"I'd never hope for anyone to be injured. I am a bit of a cricket nuffy so I hope Shane and the rest of the team are all fit and well and ready to go," Doolan said.
"If that means I don't get a go, then so be it."
But regardless of whether Doolan does get a game, he said he would spend the week making sure he was ready if picked and enjoying his time with the all-conquering squad.
"The guys are on a high, they've all played very, very well, so it's going to be exciting and something I will really cherish."
Paceman Ryan Harris remains in the squad, but is far from a certainty to play given his knee injury.
All-rounder James Faulkner is likely to take Harris's spot should he be ruled out, while Nathan Coulter-Nile remains in the squad for fast bowling cover.
As for the struggling English, it's a waiting game to see if wholesale changes are made, but there would be nothing to lose by blooding young batsman Gary Ballance at No.6 in a move that would send Joe Root back to open given Michael Carberry's struggles at the MCG.
The SCG wicket would suit a debut for leg-spinning all-rounder Scott Borthwick, and given the bounce in Sunday's BBL clash between the Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars, would also warrant giving giant paceman Boyd Rankin a crack.
As for a wicketkeeper, well, Matt Prior is out of form, Jonny Bairstow looked out of his depth with the gloves, so why not give Jos Buttler, England's one-day keeper a go? He's already here playing for the Melbourne Renegades in the BBL.