Phillip Hughes has emerged as the most likely replacement for Australia's injured opener Simon Katich for the third Ashes test at Perth after the 22 year-old received the backing of his skipper Ricky Ponting. However, Ponting also made it clear that no decision had been made yet.
Phil Hughes is the first one that comes to mind. I'd be surprised if it's not him that comes in, he said. We know what his international record is like. He's got a few runs under his belt so he's probably the first cab off the rank.
I'm not a selector. The chairman of selectors and I haven't spoken yet. I'm not sure what they're thinking. We'll have a good discussion.
Katich's Achilles tendon injury is a huge blow for Aussies, as the opener was one of their better players so far in the series. Katich himself expressed his disappointment at the injury but believes that there is enough talent for the selectors to replace him with.
I'm obviously very disappointed. It will be hard not being a part of it, he said. Obviously in the field I was battling to move around so it didn't come as a huge surprise when I found out the results of the scans.
I'm very disappointed with two games into the series to not be able to have a chance to try to turn things around with the team.
I'm sure there's going to be plenty of other options for the selectors to replace me. I'm sure there's someone else that will get an opportunity and take it. There are some very good candidates, he added.
Phillip Hughes arrived on the international stage with a bang, scoring a century in each innings against South Africa, in just his second test during May 2009. He featured in last year's Ashes series in England but was dropped after failing to impress with scores of 36, 4 and 17 in the first two Tests.
He recovered sufficiently and helped Australia to a 10 wicket win against New Zealand in March with an unbeaten 86, and recently scored an 81 for Australia A against England in the pre-Ashes tests in November. Despite the improvement, he wasn't chosen in the 17 man squad for the series.
However, replacing Katich is one of the easier decisions the selectors have to make. Marcus North, Xavier Doherty, Doug Bollinger and Peter Siddle will all be waiting anxiously for the team news as they face the drop following disappointing performances at Adelaide.
Despite the problems, Ponting backed his team to comeback and level the series, which England currently lead 1-0 after defeating Australia by an innings and 71 runs in the second test at Adelaide.
At the end of the day whatever 11 players are selected I expect they can do the job for Australia, added Ponting. This week they haven't done that. It's about finding the attitude, because I know the ability is there to get the job done.