By BV Swagath
Cricket Australia today announced a 17-man squad led by Michael Clarke to tour India for the 4-Test Match Border-Gavaskar Trophy to be played next month. David Warned who is currently out of action with a thumb injury has been named in the squad.
Swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus has been ignored for the tour while young fast bowler James Pattinson returns to the Aussie team after recovering from his injury. The fast bowling department consists of Johnson, Siddle, Pattinson, Bird and Starc. Shane Watson will play only as a pure batsman which led to the selection of all-rounder Moises Henriques who gets his maiden call to the Australian Test team.
The spin department has Nathan Lyon along with left-armer Xavier Doherty. Glenn Maxwell who bowls part-time off breaks has also been selected in the team.
This will be the first Test Series for Australia without the duo of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey. The Australian Selectors have given opportunity to Usman Khawaja, Phil Hughes and Steven Smith in the batting department.
The India-Australia Test Series consisting of four matches will begin on the 22nd of next month at Chennai.
Commenting on the squad, National Selector John Inverarity according to Cricket Australia website said: “This squad has the flexibility that will be required for the varying conditions expected in India and it will provide valuable experience to a number of young players.
The squad includes a spin bowling all-rounder in Maxwell and a medium-fast all-rounder in Henriques. In aiming for more depth in a bowling attack, the squad would allow for three pace bowlers, a leading spinner and Maxwell or two pace bowlers, the two spinners and Henriques. These are two of the options.”
On Xavier Doherty’s inclusion, Inverarity said: “We certainly feel he is much improved in the longer format of the game since he made his Test debut in 2010-11 against England. He adds further flexibility to the squad, depending on the conditions."
On the Australian Squad’s preparation for the India Tour, Inverarity said: “The First Test is scheduled to begin on 22 February in Chennai and, prior to the Test match, we have a good opportunity for members of the squad to get well acclimatised to the conditions with two warm-up fixtures.
In the next 48 hours the NSP (National Selectors Panel) will finalise which players will go to India early, once we have all available information and have finalised the squad for the final three Commonwealth Bank Series matches.
It is a long tour and a very important one as we look to continue our improvement in Test cricket and our quest to return to the top of the ICC Test cricket rankings. We are also building towards back-to-back Ashes series."
Australia Squad: David Warner, Ed Cowan, Phillip Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (Captain), Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade (Wicket Keeper), Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Jackson Bird, Xavier Doherty, Nathan Lyon