Australia v Sri Lanka, CB Series January 6, 2013

Hughes, Khawaja tip out Hussey


Michael Hussey will not get his desired ODI farewell at least partly to keep Usman Khawaja and Phillip Hughes away from the Twenty20 Big Bash League ahead of the India tour, the national selector John Inverarity has admitted.

Inverarity unveiled a curious squad for the first two matches of the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka on Sunday, captained by George Bailey while Brad Haddin resumes as the ODI gloveman in order to allow rest for Michael Clarke and Matthew Wade. David Warner has also been given time off after playing all formats for the past year.

Aaron Finch was rewarded for a compelling limited-overs summer so far while Ben Cutting has returned to the national squad for the first time since he was 12th man for the first Test match of last summer. Hussey's omission despite indicating a desire to play a final round of limited-overs games before he exited the international stage was notable, and Inverarity said the the call was made with an eye on the 2015 World Cup but also the India Test tour that begins in February.

"Our intention before two weeks ago was to give Michael a break during the Sri Lankan series and then have him refreshed and ready to come back into the ODIs against the West Indies and then off to India," Inverarity said. "Of course things changed a bit last week. We've talked it over with Mike but the overriding fact is what's best for Australian cricket and we move forward.

"We're very mindful of the 2015 World Cup and we think these ODIs are very important in terms of players like Usman Khawaja and Phillip Hughes and others having the opportunity being within the team and being in the ODI side rather than playing Big Bash League cricket partly as an opportunity for India for those who are selected. So I think we need to use those places for the future of Australian cricket.

"I think we have picked a particularly exciting side. Aaron Finch, and a lot of you have seen him play, there are not many more exciting players than Aaron. When he gets runs he gets them in quite spectacular fashion. Ben Cutting too. I think this is a very very attractive side. How will we know about the best players of the future if opportunity is not invested in them?"

Australia's coach Mickey Arthur had used the term quarantine after the Hobart match when explaining why members of the national squad were not being handed over to their BBL teams in between Tests. There is real concern among the coaches and selectors that a lack of first-class cricket through such a large chunk of the season is harming the development and preparation of both current and potential international players.

Haddin's return to the team ahead of the younger Tim Paine meanwhile provided a reminder that the selectors still valued the New South Welshman's experience. Inverarity said that Haddin remained the back-up Test wicketkeeper also, and that he would tour should the panel choose two glovemen for India or the Ashes tour of England.

"We're of the view that the two best wicketkeeper-batsmen are Matthew Wade and Brad Haddin. If something happened to Matthew than Brad Haddin would come into the side," Inverarity said. "We may or may not take two keepers to India and/or England. At this stage, our firm intention is if we take two it'll be Matthew Wade and Brad Haddin.

"Matthew's a very talented cricketer, very talented keeper and batsman, he's young and we think he'll get better and better and this has been the history of Australian cricket, we go back to Rod Marsh starting in 1970-71 and he and Ian Healy and others improved remarkably over the first couple of years. So we are certainly looking towards Matthew to improve, I think he's keeping well, he's got good skills and he'll get better as time goes on."

Another on something of a Test trial over the next month will be the allrounder Glenn Maxwell, who was 12th man for the Sydney Test. Inverarity said he was hopeful that Maxwell's progress as a cricketer and a spin bowler would gain in momentum.

"We're certainly hoping Glenn Maxwell develops as a batting all-rounder who bowls decent off-spin," Inverarity said. "He's a very talented played who we think is likely to improve on a fairly steep incline. We were close to playing him [in Sydney] - It was a close decision - but we thought the best side for this game was the side we put out."

ODI squad George Bailey (capt), Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch, David Hussey, Brad Haddin (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Ben Cutting, Mitchell Starc, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Zammam on January 8, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    @Shaggy076: The Aussies may have won the finals series last summer but we ended up beating you guys 4-3. Also, the away series (bilateral) we played in Australia before that we also ended up winning that 2-1 (it was 2-0 already). But you are right we did lose our home series not because the Aussies were good but we just didnt seem to play anything close to our best. Anyway, mark my words, The Mighty Lankans shall rise and clean sweep the Pathetic Aussies even without Sanga. I will be at the G cheering the loudest this Friday.

  • Zammam on January 8, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    @hotcric01 and @All Aussies : This team is a better than a Australia second XI. Hughes' batting is slightly better than Watson's. Also, Warner in ODI is not that great especially against the Mighty Lankans. Brad Haddin's batting is just as good as Wade's in ODI if not better as well as his keeping. M.Hussey's non selection is a loss though. Cant really comment on Khawaja but surely he can't tear our mighty ODI attack apart (hopefully not). But Bailey is a joke. I don't rate him at all. Don't really see the selectors thought process in that.

  • Graham on January 8, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    TrueLankan - Australia have won both the last home and away one-day series against Sri Lanka. So if we suck how good are Sri Lanka?

  • Pushpakumara on January 8, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    @TrueLankan,Yes.That is a nice dream.But might be difficult a bit in the reality.Look forward to what happen.who knows?Perhaps SL will get beaten by this AUS second xi.

  • Zammam on January 7, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    All you Aussies can keep on arguing all you want. In the end it matters little because the mighty Lankans will clean sweep you guys anyway. Clarke and co are just too scared to face us and hence they are " rested ". Australia are pathetic when it comes to ODI.

  • Lewis on January 7, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    @Gilly4ever i see your view, but you tell me this, both Hughes and Khawaja are equal second highest scorers in Ryobi cup with nearly 500 runs, how can you not include them. I don't question that Hussey should be there, i think he should, but that has nothing to do with Hughes and Khawaja's selection

  • Dylan on January 7, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    Haddin is in the side because he is the CURRENT backup WK. It is a one off series and he will not play any other series unless Wade is injured. Wade will be the World Cup WK, not anyone else, so calm down.

  • Dummy4 on January 7, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Mike Hussey's in form & deserves to play in the ODI series. His experience is needed at this point to help integrate new players & he's also an inspirational cricketer. I bet the people who bought tickets to the first 2 matches will be fuming at not seeing Warner, Clarke & Hussey playing. There seems to be more at play re Mike Hussey...

  • Graham on January 7, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    Andrew202 - I dont see it as a contradiction, they said they will pick a team with a view to the 2015 World Cup and I would imagine both Dave Hussey and Brad Haddin are still chances to be playing at this world cup.

  • Andrew on January 7, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Leaving Hussey out because you want to have an eye to the future is a perfectly reasonable explanation. However it's hypocritical when you bring Haddin back in - the one contradicts the other. These selectors speak rubbish sometimes when they justify their reasons. There's nothing wrong with focussing on winning a current series. Hussey's as good or better than most of the other batsmen picked therefore it's pretty reasonable to assume he'd still get a run. And for the record, Hussey did NOT retire from ODIs. Just test cricket at this stage.