Australia this morning named their 16 man squad to come to England to hopefully – from their point of view – successfully defend the Ashes. As expected the selectors kept faith with the bulk of the team that performed remarkably well in the recent series victory in South Africa while also recalling Brett Lee and Stuart Clark.
Ricky Ponting again retains the captaincy and also Michael Clarke the vice-captaincy. Their was though no place for the controversial Andrew Symonds, although Ponting didn’t go as far as to admit it, he was obviously disappointed with Symond’s omission. Ponting went onto say “I can’t personally be disappointed, The facts are he went out of the side – and we gave opportunities to others and they’ve played well enough to keep Andrew out of the squad. That’s as simple as it has to be.” A carefully worded quote designed not to upset any of the three all rounders selected for his squad.
Of the three, Shane Watson would seem to be the fortunate one – having had the injuries he has and the fact he has harldy bowled all year he can count himself lucky, whereas Andrew McDonald and Marcus North are rewarded for showing potential in South Africa.
In the spin department Nathan Hauritz got the nod over Bryce McGain and South Australian Graham Manou is named as back up wicketkeeper to Brad Haddin. Brad Hodge and David Hussey both staked a claim for a place in the batting but the selectors have kept faith with the ususal five and would appear to be backing the all rounders to slot into the top order if needed.
Sqaud in Full
Ricky Ponting (c), Michael Clarke (vc), Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, Phillip Hughes, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Graham Manou, Andrew McDonald, Marcus North, Peter Siddle, Shane Watson
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