World Twenty20 2009 May 7, 2009

Australia's Twenty20 squad a risk for Ashes

Cricinfo staff

John Buchanan, the former national coach, believes Australia should have picked a squad of specialists for the World Twenty20 instead of relying on regular campaigners in a move that could harm their Ashes defence. Buchanan, whose side Kolkata is struggling at the bottom of the current IPL, would have pushed for Adam Gilchrist or Matthew Hayden to lead the side in England next month rather than having Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke in charge so close to a major series.

"If I was a selector I would not be risking, wherever possible, key Ashes players such as Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Hughes, Haddin, Watson, Clark, Katich, Siddle, Johnson," he told the Age. "Have them embark on a combination of rest, physical and then technical preparation for the Ashes while this tournament is underway."

Buchanan wanted more specialists in the unit, including Shane Harwood, Cameron White and Shaun Tait, while recalling old stars. "Selectors should have been talking with former players to make themselves available for this particular event," he said. "I would be looking at Warne or Gilchrist as captain."

After two seasons in charge of an IPL team, Buchanan said the current Twenty20 format was not suitable for regular international competition. "Given the ICC have chosen to cash in on the excitement of Twenty20 and the potential revenues that can be made, then Australia or any country should treat it for what it is," he said. "It is a one-off tournament that will occur periodically in the world tournament schedule, and in my opinion has little to do with long-term developments of player squads apart from the inclusion of possibly one or two under-19 or 'new' players who are included for experience around an Australian environment."

Australia's 15-man outfit was chosen on Tuesday and included Andrew Symonds, Brett Lee and Shane Watson. The opener David Warner was the only Twenty20 specialist in the line-up.