Australia have named their 15-man squad for the 2011 World Cup as they bid to seal an unprecedented fourth straight success in the tournament.
Michael Hussey has been included in the squad despite undergoing surgery on an injured hamstring and he is joined in the squad by his brother David and off-spinner Nathan Hauritz.
Hauritz finds himself back in contention after he was overlooked for the Ashes series and the start of the One-Day International series against England.
Quick bowlers Brett Lee and Shaun Tait are both included having made successful returns from injuries.
“The NSP has selected a squad we believe is capable of winning a fourth successive ICC Cricket World Cup in sub-continental conditions," National Selection Panel chairman Andrew Hilditch said.
“As the world’s number one ranked one-day team and as the holders of both the ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy, Australia has been planning for this tournament for some time and we feel this side is well-balanced.
“It includes the experience of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Brett Lee, and also some young talent like Steve Smith. Shaun Tait, Shane Watson, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin were all also part of the victorious 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup squad that went unbeaten in the Caribbean, so there is plenty of character in this group of Australian cricketers.
“One of the major decisions to be made in this squad was ensuring the balance was right in the squad to provide the best cover for all positions in the event of injury, illness or form issues that may arise.
“Nathan Hauritz is our preferred spin option and his one-day record in India is excellent. He will be an important part of our bid for this fourth World Cup. Doug Bollinger has also been a strong performer for us in one-day cricket in India in recent times and we expect him to have a big impact on the tournament.
“Victorian John Hastings has been selected as he adds variety to our bowling options. We feel his bowling is well suited to subcontinent conditions and his all-round skills with bat and ball add to the flexibility of the squad.
“David Hussey has been selected on the back of years of excellent interstate performances in all forms of the game and we feel he will play a crucial role for us in sub-continental conditions and also has the ability to bowl important overs for Australia. Fellow Victorian Cameron White is very important to us in the middle order and he has the ability to dominate with bat.
“Tim Paine richly deserves his selection giving as he provides a second wicket-keeping option and is also an excellent option for any top order batting position.”
Australia begin their campagn against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad on 21st February while they also go on to play New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Canada and Pakistan in Group A.
Australia World Cup squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice-captain), Doug Bollinger, Brad Haddin, John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Tim Paine, Steve Smith, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson, Cameron White
© Cricket World 2011
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