Australia have reacted to their dramatic seven-run loss in the second Test against New Zealand by dropping Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja from the eleven that lost in Hobart, and recalling Shaun Marsh and Ben Hilfenhaus to a 13-man squad for the first Test against India that begins on Boxing Day. Ed Cowan is also in the squad and looks in line for a Test debut following his century for the Chairman’s XI yesterday.
Commenting on the omissions of Hughes and Khawaja, National Selector John Inverarity said, “Phillip Hughes and Usman Khawaja have been omitted from the Australian team that played in Hobart. We see both [of them] as developing players with bright futures and remaining as players of significance. They are determined young men and I know that they will work hard to produce compelling performances and push strongly for further consideration.”
He also explained the continued absence from the 13-man party of Shane Watson and Ryan Harris, saying, “Shane Watson was not considered for selection as he has not recovered sufficiently from his injury. Ryan Harris has not yet achieved the volume of bowling required to be available for consideration for Test selection.”
Inverarity also cast doubt on the fitness of Shaun Marsh and said that the continued doubts about the left-hander’s fitness was the main reason that the National Selection Panel had chosen to name a 13 as opposed to 12-man squad. He is expected to attempt to prove his fitness in Thursday’s Big Bash League match for the Perth Scorchers.
Australian Squad in full: Michael Clarke (captain), Brad Haddin (wicket-keeper), Dan Christian, Ed Cowan, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.
© Cricket World 2011