Australia squad announced for first Vodafone Test against Sri Lanka
The Cricket Australia (CA) National Selection Panel (NSP) has today announced a 12-player squad for the first Vodafone Test against Sri Lanka starting on Friday 14 December at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena.
The Australian squad for the first Vodafone Test against Sri Lanka is:
Michael Clarke (c)
Shane Watson (vc)
Commenting on the squad, National Selector John Inverarity said: “The NSP has today announced a squad of 12 players for the first Vodafone Test against Sri Lanka starting on Friday 14 December at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena.
“Phillip Hughes has been selected to fill the vacancy created by Ricky Ponting’s retirement. Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Rob Quiney and Alex Doolan were the four batsmen to come under consideration to bat high in the order.
“Phillip is an improved player and his recent and overall career statistics present a compelling case. The NSP holds the view that he, having just turned 24, is a very significant part of the future. He has received this call-up, his third, as it was considered to be the right time and circumstances for him to re-establish himself.
“Michael Clarke will give careful consideration to his batting order during the next few days. He has a number of options open to him and Hughes at three is one of these.
“The four pace bowlers in the squad are Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc. John Hastings and Josh Hazlewood, not being able to be declared fit to perform at the time of selection, were not considered.
“The squad welcomes the return of Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle. Neither bowler was considered to be 100 per cent fit to perform and was not included in the final squad of 12 for the recent Perth Vodafone Test match against South Africa.
“The dressing-room will be different without the presence of Ricky Ponting. His absence creates both the opportunity and the necessity for others to grow and fill the gap.
“We look forward to watching Michael Clarke’s team in the three Test series against Sri Lanka after acquitting themselves well against the formidable South African line-up who deservedly retained the number one ICC Test ranking,” Inverarity said.
The match will be broadcast live on the NINE Network, live on ABC radio and live on mobile devices via the Cricket LIVE Australia app, developed by Vodafone, as well as live scores on cricket.com.au. Play is scheduled to commence daily at 10am (AEST) with public gates open from 9am (AEST).
Tickets are still available for the match and fans who choose to pre-purchase their tickets prior to the game will save compared to the ticket price they would pay at the gate, with Cricket Australia introducing tiered pricing for the first time this season. Log on to http://www.cricket.com.au/tickets" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; to book your seats.
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With the first Test now done and dusted, the action moves to Melbourne for the traditional Boxing Day Test, will will be the first that Sri Lanka is taking part in since the infamous Test where Murali was called for chucking some 15 years ago. From an Oz selection point of view, Michael Clarke is still doubtful, although continues talking his chances up. He will be replaced by Usman Khawaja if he doesn't make it. Two other changes; Mitchell Johnson coming in for the injured Ben Hilfenhaus, and Mitchell Starc looks like being rested with Jackson Bird being the word in terms of his replacement. I'm hoping for a good contest, and unfortunately won't get to see any live action until day 4.