Doolan tipped to make Test debut

TASMANIAN Alex Doolan said being handed a baggy green in South Africa today would represent everything he dreamed about when growing up in Launceston.

And the stylish 28-year-old batsman has given the strongest hint yet that he will take Shane Watson's spot at three by revealing that his fiancaacé Laura Gibb had already arrived in Johannesburg while his parents and sisters were on the way.

Doolan is hotly tipped to debut in today's first Test at Centurion and told Radio SEN what it would mean to him.

``It'd mean the world,'' he said. ``It's every kid's dream when you're growing up, all the summers playing in the backyard playing cricket and watching your heroes play, it's something you can only dream about. 

``If it was to happen it'll be a very, very special day.''

Speaking on a busy day for Tasmanian cricket with George Bailey and James Faulkner named in Australia's World Twenty20 squad and the Tigers resuming their Sheffield Shield defence after a two-month hiatus, Doolan reflected on his early years when he went to school at Scotch Oakburn and played cricket with Launceston.

He said his backyard cricket matches involved plenty of dummy spits and great memories pretending to be Michael Slater when his sisters and cousins bowled to him.

Doolan, whose father Bruce played 12 first-class matches as a wicketkeeper-batsman for Tasmania in the 1970s, was touted as a Test player for much of last year and the prospect of facing the world's top-ranked Test team will not daunt him having recorded his highest score of 161 not out facing it with Australia A in 2012.

A first-class average of 37.92 from 53 matches included two century stands with his mentor Ricky Ponting in last season's Sheffield Shield-winning campaign.

Doolan said he had received the ideal preparation this week by facing Australia's pace attack of Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and fellow Tiger Jackson Bird in a practice match, scoring 25 from 33 balls at first-drop.

``He is a class player,'' opener Chris Rogers said.

``I've seen him improve now over a few years and particularly of late I've thought this guy can definitely play, and really play the good ball as well. So I think he's ready.''

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