Ponting to lead Australia in next ODI

Courtesy: International Cricket Council

Cricket Australia’s National Selection Panel today announced a 14-man squad for the next two Commonwealth Bank Series matches against Sri Lanka at the SCG on Friday 17 February and against India at the Gabba on Sunday 19 February.

Michael Clarke (Captain)

Ricky Ponting (Captain for Friday’s ODI vs Sri Lanka)

David Warner (vc)

Dan Christian

Xavier Doherty

Peter Forrest

Ben Hilfenhaus

David Hussey

Michael Hussey

Brett Lee

Mitchell Marsh

Clint McKay

Mitchell Starc

Matthew Wade

National Selector John Inverarity said: “Michael Clarke will not be considered for the ODI in Sydney this Friday due to a low-grade hamstring strain. The medical staff are hopeful that Michael will be fit to play in Brisbane on Sunday. Hence he has been included in the squad.

“Some players are showing signs of fatigue after a demanding summer in which the Australian team has played with great intensity and purpose and performed with distinction. The National Selection Panel (NSP) has omitted Ryan Harris for this reason and for the fact that he is carrying some minor niggles. The NSP has refreshed the squad with the inclusion of Brett Lee and Ben Hilfenhaus. Brett is making a good recovery from his toe injury and will be given rigorous fitness tests before Friday’s ODI fixture. As expected Michael Hussey returns to the squad.

“After careful consideration the NSP has asked Ricky Ponting if he would captain the Australian ODI team in Michael Clarke’s absence. David Warner is a young player making his way. He displays considerable leadership potential, but the NSP is of the view that he should not, at this moment, have the added responsibility of captaincy thrust on him. David has been gaining valuable experience under Michael Clarke’s captaincy and now he will have the opportunity to grow his leadership skills further as vice-captain to Ricky Ponting. In making this decision the NSP reminded itself of the fact that Ricky Ponting led the winning Australian ICC Cricket World Cup teams in 2003 and 2007. The NSP appreciates the fact that Ricky is prepared to accept this responsibility in the wider interests of the team.

“The NSP also looks forward to Shane Watson playing in the forthcoming Bupa Shield match and proving his fitness.”

Commenting on Shane Watson, Australia Physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said: “Shane played a Grade cricket game in Sydney on Saturday. He batted and bowled in that game without any issue and will be available for consideration for selection for a Bupa Shield game in Perth later this week as he continues his return from injury.”