Australia v Sri Lanka 2010-11 October 26, 2010

Ponting, Watson and Johnson return to action


Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson will be back on duty next week after being picked for the three-match one-day series against Sri Lanka. The trio was rested from the India limited-overs trip and the return of Ponting and Watson means Callum Ferguson and David Warner, who didn't play in the rain-interrupted campaign, miss out.

The surprise inclusion is Xavier Doherty, the left-arm spinner from Tasmania, who comes in following a string of mesmerising displays. He will play in the first game of the series in Melbourne on November 3 and has a chance to impress for a spot at next year's World Cup.

A thoughtful slow bowler, Doherty has even taken the new ball for his state and his tight line makes it difficult for batsmen to attack. He has 103 List A wickets in 85 matches at an average of 28.91.

"His interstate one-day performances saw him make the Australia A side this year and he has again started this season impressively," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said. "A left-arm finger spinner could be important during the World Cup campaign and we are confident Xavier will perform very well if the opportunity presents itself."

Doherty's selection puts some more pressure on Nathan Hauritz because Steve Smith, the legspinner, is also in the 15-man outfit. Hauritz will miss the opening ODI to play in New South Wales' Sheffield Shield match against Queensland starting on Sunday.

"This is seen as the best preparation for Nathan ahead of a very busy summer," Hilditch said. Hauritz had a disappointing Test tour of India, but had regained significant drift and turn by the end of the trip.

Peter Siddle will continue his comeback from a back stress fracture in the ODIs as part of an inexperienced bowling attack. Johnson is the leader and will also have Mitchell Starc, John Hastings and Clint McKay as support.

"We have several key fast bowlers out of the side at present with injury, but this does create a great opportunity for several of our young fast bowlers," Hilditch said. Doug Bollinger will remain on the sidelines with a stomach injury picked up in India while Ryan Harris continues to battle a knee problem.

Brett Lee remains on the outer following elbow surgery, despite insisting he is ready after a handful of grade and state matches. "It's not something that he's particularly happy with, he thinks he's ready to go," Hilditch said in Adelaide. "But we still feel after a very long period off with injury, and then to come back on pretty limited preparation to what is really three one-day internationals in six days, I think it is just a bit too much at this stage."

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

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Matt on October 29, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    Dismayed, spot on re: Hilditch. Let's see what difference Chappell makes. He's had some "weird" views about players in the past but let's hope he gets the selections back on track (the last couple of years of bringing in under par players and randomly dropping some players for supposedly being too old while keeping other underperforming players, young and old, comes to mind .......Michell Starc being the latest bizarre selection but hope he does well).

  • Gary on October 28, 2010, 1:49 GMT

    Seers you are right I was looking for some way to show Paine is a decent batsmen and I think will continue to improve. Haddin for me just gets out at the wrong time too often in test and ODI he does not seem to handle pressure and I still feel his keeping is not up to par for test cricket especially up to stumps but also back. I just feel Paine has more to offer. By all means have Haddin in the T20 side. Maybe we can both work on getting rid of Hilditch?

  • Dummy4 on October 27, 2010, 16:55 GMT

    I with the view that Lee should be given a chance. He is a wicket taking bowler and that is exactly what Australia has been lacking for some time now. If the aussies are looking at the ashes, then getting Siddle in , makes sense. But if it is only the one day series that we are talking about , it makes sense to get back Lee in. I think the matches will be interesting and important because every player has to prove himself . I only wish the Australian selectors were a llittle more open to change. They seem so set in their views. Warner surely needs to play . Marsh seems to be struggling and did really badly in the one game he got in India. Australia should win , but it is likely to be a good series as Sri Lanka are no pushovers and Murali must be keen to prove his ability in Australia and that he can deliver against pressure and he has certainly been under all sorts of pressure in Australia. sridhar

  • Matt on October 27, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    Dismayed, I think I agree with you on everything you have said in your posts except I'm going to challenge you again on the wicketkeeper. I think your stats analysis is a bit selective. Iin ODIs Paine gets a 50 every 4 innings if 100s are included (as they should be) and this is slightly better than Haddin, but Haddin's conversion rate is every 5 innings not 6 as you said. Also, hasn't Paine opened the innings on every occasion (?) as opposed to Haddin mostly playing down the order and getting less chance of a lot of batting time per innings? Secondly, Paine's "conversion rate" in List A matches increases to 4.38 compared to Haddin's slightly better 4.32. Finally, isn't Paine way too slow with a strike rate of 68.72 in ODIs and 68.26 in List A?? That sort of strike rate belongs back in the 80s and puts too much pressure on other batsmen to score quickly in this day and age. Haddin on the other hand has one of the best strike rates in the Aussie team and he shoud open in my view.

  • Gary on October 27, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    For Seers, Haddin makes a fifty each 6 innings, Paine makes a 50 every 4th innings. The big difference is Paines keeping ability is far more reliable than Haddins. Clark should not be in the T20 side. C.White should be Captain of T20 and one day teams with D.Hussey as his deputy.

  • michael on October 27, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    Australian should have played their full strenght one day team in India as well,the sub continent pitches favour the home side but with the full team i'm sure the Australian would have given the Indian's a good game,The Sri Lankan are very Lucky to have this series played away from home and more over with the full strenght Australian Team too,a very good workout to the World cup.

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2010, 22:13 GMT

    Why did BCCI allowed full compensation to OZs 2nd sting teamfor the recent ODI series only game ?

  • oscar on October 26, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    why is Ferguson not in the side this would be my side without injuries

    1.Watson 2. Haddin 3. Ponting 4. Clarke 5. Ferguson 6. White 7. Hussey 8. Johnson 9. Harris 10, Bolinger 11. Tait

    but with injuries to the bowlers so Siddle Hastings and Hauritz can come in

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2010, 18:27 GMT

    8 bowlers? Surely that's not a good balance. Unless they plan on testing them all. I feel Ferguson should be in in place of one of them.

  • CJ on October 26, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    you wait and see ausises... This time its not gonna that easy...

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