After weeks of speculation that one of the fast bowlers Brett Lee and Shaun Tait would not be picked in the 15-member Australia squad for the World Cup, selectors have decided to retain both players. The two will join their fellow pacers Dough Biollinger and Mitchell Johnson in a possible 4-pronged pace attack. Of course, opening batsman Shane Watson who doubles as a seamer, may also figure as a back-up bowler.
Now three out of the four quicks have had much experience bowling in subcontinent conditions as Brett Lee has played with the Kings XI Punjab, Bollinger with the Chennai Superkings and Tait (as well as Watson) with the Rajasthan Royals. Brett's chances at making the cut were firmed up thanks to a strong performance in Sunday's match against England where he took 2 wickets.
Lee and Tait are returning from serious elbow injuries and the latter has just contracted a back strain, but the selectors have kept faith in their speed and fitness. Nathan Hauritz is the sole recognised spinner in the squad, but allrounders Steven Smith and David Hussey will also be relied on to deliver regular overs.
Meanwhile, fast bowler Peter Siddle and slow left armer Xavier Doherty were not included in the final 15, while John Hastings, the Victoria allrounder, was named along with the injured duo of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey.
Hussey sustained a serious hamstring tear in Sunday's ODI win over England and underwent surgery which will mean a lengthy period on the sidelines, while Ponting is recovering from an operation on his little finger. The pair will not appear in the rest of the one-day series against England.
Australia are still the No.1 side in the 50-over game and are aiming for their fourth consecutive World Cup win. Seven players who were part of the unbeaten 2007 success story in the West Indies will endeavor to achieve more glory.
Australia 15-member squad Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wk), Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, David Hussey, Cameron White, Tim Paine (wk), Steven Smith, John Hastings, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Doug Bollinger.