MELBOURNE – Australia has selected two squads for the short series against Pakistan next month with a focus on the World Twenty20 tournament in September, drafting in uncapped allrounder Glenn Maxwell to gain experience and including veterans Shane Watson and Ben Hilfenhaus for only half of the tour to the United Arab Emirates.
Selection chairman John Inverarity says Maxwell will provide another offspinning option on the slow, turning wickets in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The tour comprises three ODIs starting Aug. 28 followed by three T20s.
Watson and Hilfenhaus have been given a break from the ODIs to concentrate on getting fit after Australia’s 4-0 ODI series loss in England earlier this month. They’ll rejoin the squad along with Cameron White and veteran leg-spinner Brad Hogg for the T20s.
Michael Hussey has been selected for both squads after missing Australia’s tour to England, while David Warner will be vice captain of the ODI squad in Watson’s absence and Callum Ferguson gets a recall to the national setup for the first time in more than a year.
“The ODI squad has a strong development aspect to it. Shane Watson and Ben Hilfenhaus have not been included and Brett Lee has retired. This will provide development opportunities for others and allow Shane and Ben to complete a more thorough strength and conditioning program before embarking on a very demanding schedule,” Inverarity said in a statement Monday.
“The team includes many talented young players; David Warner, Matthew Wade, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith, and of particular interest Glenn Maxwell and Callum Ferguson.”
Inverarity said the 23-year-old Maxwell, who has had limited experience for Victoria state, has excelled recently for Hampshire recently in the English T20 competition.
Maxwell will be cover for allrounders Watson and Dan Christian in the T20 squad and is will join 41-year-old Hogg and Xavier Doherty as a spinning option. “The squad for the ICC World Twenty20 will be announced on Aug. 17 and the squad for the three T20s against Pakistan in September provides a strong indicator to this tournament,” Inverarity said. “Of interest would be the three spinners.”
Due to the expected heat in the UAE during the series, the ODI matches will start at 6 p.m. local time.Australia squads:ODIs: Michael Clarke (captain), David Warner, George Bailey, Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade.
T20: George Bailey (captain), Shane Watson, Dan Christian, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brad Hogg, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Cameron White. — AP