Ahmed, Finch, Marsh Named In Australia Squad
Australia have made changes to their limited overs squad ahead of a series of matches against England and Scotland, including calling up Fawad Ahmed, Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh.
Following a disappointing Champions Trophy campaign, which culminated in Mickey Arthur's reign as head coach coming to an end, changes were expected.
Missing from the squad that lost to England, suffered a washout against New Zealand and beat Sri Lanka are Xavier Doherty and Mitchell Marsh.
Leg-spinner Ahmed played for Australia 'A' in England earlier this summer and was then awarded Australian citizenship in July, going on to also play in South Africa.
Also added to the squad, which is expected to be trimmed to 15 players ahead of the start of the limited overs programme in England and Scotland, are fast bowler Josh Hazlewood and batsman Steve Smith.
National Selecton Panel (NSP) Chairman John Inverarity explained why the changes to the squad had been made.
"Fawad Ahmed gets his opportunity as the squad’s lead spinner. He replaces Xavier Doherty who had that role in the ICC Champions Trophy played in June," he said.
"While Xavier will be disappointed, he remains in strong contention for selection for the Tour of India in October. Fawad has been a consistent wicket-taker on the Australia A tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa. He is a mature and very good leg-spin bowler and the NSP is keen to see how he fares in international competition.
"Steve Smith has replaced Mitchell Marsh from the squad that represented Australia in the ICC Champions Trophy. Steve is a talented young stroke-maker who is steadily gaining confidence and has been impressive at times during the Ashes Series and Australia A tour that preceded it. Mitchell is still only 21 years of age and is a player who remains of high interest.
"Aaron Finch played five consecutive ODIs last summer against the West Indies. Since then he has captained Australia A against the England Lions in February and more recently against South Africa A, Zimbabwe and India A in Africa. He has played and captained with considerable success and the NSP looks forward to him continuing his form in England.
"Shaun Marsh’s limited overs form has been very good for some time. He sealed his selection in this squad when he batted through the innings scoring a masterful 136 not out to guide Australia A to victory against South Africa A recently.
"Josh Hazlewood has been performing impressively with Australia A recently and thoroughly deserves the opportunity. Josh made his ODI debut for Australia against England in 2010 as a 19-year-old and now, three years on, he is a stronger and better bowler."
Australia begin the limited overs leg of their tour with a brace of Twenty20 Internationals against England on 29th and 31st August, after which the squad will be reduced to 15 players.
They then head north to Edinburgh to play Scotland in a single ODI on 3rd September with five ODIs against England between 8th and 16th September concluding their tour and Inverarity added that every game is important as the build-up to global tournaments in 2014 and 2015 continues.
"The 2014 ICC World Twenty20 is less than 12 months away and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup around 18 months away so every limited overs game between now and then will be an important opportunity for those players selected to press their claims.
"While those two tournaments may seem distant to cricket fans, the NSP has been planning for these tournaments for some time."
Australia ODI/T20I squad: Michael Clarke (ODI captain), George Bailey (ODI vice-captain/T20 captain), Fawad Ahmed, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson
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