Hayden picked for one-day tri-series
Matthew Hayden has been handed a limited-overs lifeline and Cameron White has been rewarded for his domestic form after both were named in Australia's 13-man squad for the Commonwealth Bank Series. The selectors were forced to rethink their one-day line-up after losing two members of the Champions Trophy squad: Shane Watson, who has a hamstring injury, and the now-retired Damien Martyn.
Hayden is set to open the batting with Adam Gilchrist in the tri-series featuring England and New Zealand, which begins on January 12. He got the nod ahead of Phil Jaques and Chris Rogers, one of whom will almost certainly partner Hayden in the Test team after Justin Langer's departure.
White will hope to slot into the middle-order after a strong start to his season with Victoria. In eight domestic one-day games in 2006-07, he has averaged 52.33, including a blistering 126 not out from 100 balls against New South Wales. White's legspin bowling and excellent fielding could have given him the edge against other middle-order candidates including Adam Voges.
Ricky Ponting said Hayden was the logical replacement for Watson as Gilchrist's opening partner. "There's no doubt Matty is the next best opener," Ponting said. "He was bitterly disappointed when he missed out last time. I'm looking forward to seeing him play some one-day cricket again. I'm looking forward to him grabbing the opportunity with both hands. We've all seen how hungry he's been this summer."
Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said White would be a useful addition to the team. "Cameron White has been in great form with the bat and has had some terrific performances with the ball," Hilditch said. "He richly deserves this opportunity. He adds depth to the batting and balance to the bowling and hopefully we can see him seize his chance."
Both will be aiming to secure their place ahead of the World Cup, which starts in March. Australia have chosen a preliminary 30-man squad for their title defence. The names include a mix of youth and experience, with the most notable omission being Rogers, whose stellar Pura Cup form this year has not extended to the domestic limited-overs competition.
A number of players who will push for a spot in the one-day team in the next few years were named, including the batsmen Adam Voges, Marcus North, Travis Birt, Shaun Marsh and Mark Cosgrove, and the bowlers Ben Hilfenhaus, Daniel Cullen and Nathan Hauritz. Although Watson is Australia's preferred allrounder, Queensland's James Hopes and Victoria's Andrew McDonald have been rewarded for their domestic efforts. The selectors showed Brad Hodge is still in their thoughts, while his Victoria team-mate, the fast bowler Shane Harwood, 32, was a surprise inclusion.
White and Hilfenhaus, the Tasmania swing bowler who has been touted as a potential replacement for Glenn McGrath, will have an extra chance to press their cases, having been chosen in the Twenty20 line-up to take on England at Sydney next week.
Australia tri-series squad Adam Gilchrist (wk), Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Cameron White, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark, Nathan Bracken, Glenn McGrath.
Australia World Cup preliminary squad Adam Gilchrist (wk), Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting (capt), Phil Jaques, Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Marcus North, Adam Voges, Brad Hodge, Travis Birt, Shaun Marsh, Cameron White, Mark Cosgrove, Brad Haddin (wk), James Hopes, Andrew McDonald, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Stuart Clark, Glenn McGrath, Daniel Cullen, Nathan Bracken, Shaun Tait, Shane Harwood, Ben Hilfenhaus.
Australia Twenty20 squad Adam Gilchrist (wk), Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Cameron White, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken, Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus.