Melbourne, Jan 30: Australia have named a 14-man squad for the first three matches of the tri-series which is set to start on February 5 in Melbourne. Australia have omitted left-handed batsman Shaun Marsh and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin is rested . Both Marsh and Haddin had a poor Test series against India which the hosts won 4-0. Matthew Wade has taken Haddin's place.
India, Sri Lanka and the hosts will play each other three times each before the top two teams contesting a best-of-three finals. The first match is between Australia and India on February 5 in Melbourne. The finals are slated for March 4, 6 and 8.
Commenting on the squad, National Selector John Inverarity said the National Selection Panel (NSP) thought it provided a talented mix of experienced and proven performers with young players not yet experienced at international level.
“We want a flying start to the Commonwealth Bank Series against India and Sri Lanka and as always, have selected a group we are confident can win while also keeping an eye on development for the future," he said.
“Peter Forrest, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Dan Christian and Clint McKay are in form and will have a chance to either prove or further prove themselves on the international stage. Brad Haddin has come off a heavy program of Test cricket – the workload for a wicketkeeper/batsman is rigourous and resting him for the start of the series will refresh him for coming international commitments while also giving us a chance to look at Matt Wade at this level.
“We have not at this stage named a vice-captain for the first three games with Brad resting and Shane Watson still unavailable while he completes his recovery from injury, and will assess that position when the squad assembles.Peter Forrest, in great form for Queensland and also for his KFC T20 Big Bash League side this summer, comes into the group but will remain available for the PM"s Xl game in Canberra this Friday, where he is vice-captain to Brad Haddin. Shaun Marsh is obviously disappointed with his own form in recent weeks and is out of the side but remains in our thinking for the future while he works at state level – as they say, class is permanent but form can be temporary," Inverarity said.
Talking about the experience in the squad, he explained: “Brett Lee had a terrific Big Bash League and with Ryan Harris provides the squad with the experience at this level that will benefit the broader fast bowling group, while Xavier Doherty"s ability in this format speaks for itself."
The Australian squad will assemble in Melbourne on Friday.
Australia squad for first three matches: Michael Clarke (captain), David Warner, Ricky Ponting, Peter Forrest, Dan Christian, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade, Brett Lee, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc, Xavier Doherty, Clint McKay, Mitch Marsh.