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Missing Hauritz helped England: Swann

Missing Hauritz helped England: Swann

Nathan Hauritz not being picked for the Ashes helped England said Graeme Swann.

Sydney: Australia's decision to overlook top-line spinner Nathan Hauritz in the Ashes series had played into England's hands, spinner Graeme Swann said on Saturday.

The English off-spinner believes leaving Hauritz out in Brisbane was one of the best things Australia could have done for the tourists and the 29-year-old's continued absence from the series was baffling.

Since his axing in favour of Xavier Doherty before the Brisbane Ashes opener in November, Hauritz has played impressively in domestic cricket with New South Wales.

He has scored two Sheffield Shield centuries and claimed career-best bowling figures in the Blues' win over Western Australia in Perth to have 19 first-class wickets this summer at 26.78.

Doherty was ousted after taking 1-158 in the second Test at Adelaide, but selectors again shunned Hauritz to call up inexperienced left-armer Michael Beer.

Beer has been 12th man in two Tests with Australia preferring to play a four-man pace attack, but he is set to make his debut in Monday's fifth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground despite it being Hauritz's home venue.

"I honestly don't understand how Australian selection works," Swann told reporters on Saturday.

"It's obviously different to how it works in England.

"I don't know why he (Hauritz) was dropped in the first place and why he's not been brought back in."

Hauritz played three Tests in England in 2009, claiming 10 wickets at 32.10, but was left out of the final match at The Oval where Australia's all-pace attack struggled on a dusty wicket.

Swann, who has taken 13 wickets in the series at 37.31, said England had benefited from Australia's once again omitting Hauritz from an Ashes contest.

"I genuinely feel sorry for him because I don't think he deserved to miss out on this whole series," Swann said.

"He bowled well against England two years ago and I certainly think he was a guy who caused a few of our players some problems.

"I don't understand why he's not been given a shout but it's good for us."

Doubts remain over Beer's lack of experience going into a Test match where Australia must win to avoid a series defeat.

Beer, who only made his Shield debut this summer, has played only seven first-class matches and admitted he had never even been inside the SCG before Australia's first training run at the venue on Saturday.

"Experience? You'd say zero," Beer said. "This is the first time I've been inside the SCG today."

Nonetheless Beer, 26, said he was ready to do a job if he was required on Monday and his lack of experience wouldn't be an issue.

first published:January 01, 2011, 15:00 IST