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Rediff.com  » Sports » Ponting, Watson back for Lanka ODI series

Ponting, Watson back for Lanka ODI series

October 26, 2010 09:43 IST

Skipper Ricky Ponting and all-rounder Shane Watson returned from a short break along with fit-again wicketkeeper Brad Haddin in the 15-member Australian cricket squad announced on Tuesday for the ODI series against Sri Lanka next month. 

"The selection of this One-day squad marks the start of a very important summer of One-day cricket for the Australian side as it continues its preparation for the ICC Cricket World Cup in the Indian subcontinent," NSP Chairman Andrew Hilditch said in a statement.

"The squad sees the return of Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson after missing the Indian One-day series and also the return of Brad Haddin from injury," he said.

The return of the trio, however, shut the door on the explosive David Warner and Callum Ferguson, who were part of the squad for the just-concluded ODI series against India but did not get a game after two of the three matches were washed out. Australia lost the series 0-1.

"Unfortunately this has meant that both David Warner and Callum Ferguson who were in India with for the One-day series have not been selected. This makes way for the return of several of our key batsmen," Hilditch said.

"It is a pity neither player got an opportunity in India due to the weather, but both players will return to interstate cricket and look to score plenty of runs and press for selection during the summer," he added.

On the bowling front, Mitchell Johnson returns to lead the attack after being given a break.

"We have several key fast bowlers out of the side at present with injury, but this does create a great opportunity for several or our young fast bowlers in Mitchell Starc, John Hastings and Clint McKay to continue to gain experience on the international stage.

"Xavier Doherty richly deserves his chance after several impressive seasons for Tasmania. His interstate One-day performances saw him make the Australia A side this year and he has again started this season impressively," Hilditch said. 

Off-spinner Nathan Hauritz will, however, miss at least the opening game of the series starting November 3 as he would have to be available for domestic engagements. 

"Nathan Hauritz will miss the first one day game of the series to allow him to be available for selection for the Weet-Bix Sheffield Shield match at the Gabba starting on the 31st October. This is seen as the best preparation for Nathan ahead of a very busy summer, which includes the Vodafone Ashes Series and culminates in the ICC Cricket World Cup."

After the opening game here, the second match would be played November 5 in Sydney, followed by the third and final game in Brisbane on November 7.

The squad: Ricky Ponting (c), Michael Clarke (vc), Xavier Doherty, Brad Haddin, John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Clint McKay, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Shane Watson, Cameron White.

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