Bracken, Hussey out of Australian tour of India

Published: Monday, September 24, 2007, 9:04 [IST]
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A strained hamstring and compassionate leave have ruled batsman Mike Hussey and speed bowler Nathan Bracken out of the injury-hit Australian squad for the upcoming tour of India, officials said.

The national selection panel also confirmed late Sunday that all-rounder James Hopes would be brought into the team to replace an injured Shane Watson for the Indian series.

Panel chairman Andrew Hilditch said Bracken was returning to Australia to be with his wife as she prepares to give birth.

"Nathan Bracken has been given compassionate leave to return to Australia for the birth of his first child. It is anticipated Nathan will rejoin the squad in India as soon as possible," Hilditch said.

"At this stage no replacement player has been called upon and we will take this on a day-by-day basis."

Hussey will also return to Australia after injuring his left hamstring during Saturday's 15-run loss to India in the semi-final of the World Twenty20 Championships in South Africa.

"Mike Hussey has strained his left hamstring and that will keep him out of the Indian series," team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said.

The middle-order batsman was the third player in as many days to injure his hamstring at the Twenty20 competition.

Captain Ricky Ponting, who is expected to miss the opening games in India, and allrounder Shane Watson endured similar injuries in the previous two games.

Kountouris said there was no single reason for the problem but it was possible "the hectic nature of Twenty20 cricket combined with soft grounds and the high frequency of travel may have provided the additional stress required to cause injury in players who are at the start of their cricketing season."

A replacement for Hussey will be confirmed by Tuesday.

The Australian team is due to play the first game of their Twenty20 and one-day series against India on Saturday 29 September at Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.

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