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Australia look for a taste of the local Beer

Australian selectors have thrown another spanner in the works, selecting unheralded West Australian Michael Beer for the Third Test against England. Beer, who moved to Perth this season after battling away in Melbourne Grade Cricket for years, has played only five first-class matches, with a modest record of 16 wickets at 39.93. Along with this, Beer’s much talked about local knowledge could be limited, having played only three matches at the WACA, and it yet to take more than three wickets in an innings.

Despite one selection shock, the remainder to the changes to the side were quite unsurprising, with Phillip Hughes, Steve Smith, Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus called in to replace the injured Simon Katich, and the dropped Xavier Doherty, Marcus North and Doug Bollinger.

Beer was himself shocked at the call up, saying he’s still getting used to the idea of pulling on the Baggy Green. “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 said in Brisbane.

He was touted last week by Shane Warne as the man to take on the Poms in Perth, but he didn’t read too much into the words of his former St Kilda team mate. “I just laughed it off a bit but it’s nice when someone of his calibre throws your hat in the ring,” Beer said. “I think I played four games with him (at St Kilda), 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. (And) I was lucky enough to go to the Centre of Excellence in April and May and he was up there for that – he’s been good.”

Beer now joins the long list of supposed successors to Warne, many of whom have enjoyed little time to settle or be successful in the cut throat Australian set up. Before him, Stuart MacGill, Beau Casson, Brad Hogg, Dan Cullen, Cameron White, Jason Krejza, Bryce McGain, Nathan Hauritz, Smith and Doherty have all tried and failed, and going off this list, Beer will need to perform miracles to retain his spot into the future.

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