Siddle, Hastings join Australia A
Peter Siddle will be given a chance to warm up ahead of Australia's Test tour of Sri Lanka after being called in to the Australia A squad that will fly to Zimbabwe on Saturday. Siddle has been added to the four-day group and John Hastings will join the one-day squad after the Tasmania fast bowler James Faulkner was ruled out due to glandular fever.
Faulkner, 21, was originally chosen in both formats after a summer in which he took 36 Sheffield Shield wickets at 17.72. He then headed to India and played with Pune in the IPL but he will have to wait for his big break in the Australia setup after succumbing to the illness, which will allow Siddle and Hastings some match practice in the middle of the Australian winter.
The opportunity is especially valuable for Siddle, who was part of Australia's attack during the Ashes and shouldn't have a problem holding on to his place for the next Test series. He will be joined on the Zimbabwe trip by his Test colleague Ben Hilfenhaus as Australia aim to give their bowlers the best chance of being ready for the Sri Lanka trip in August.
There will be extra competition for places in the attack for Sri Lanka, with the impressive Ryan Harris fit again after a fractured ankle ended his Ashes campaign early. The Australia A attack for the four-day games against Zimbabwe will be rounded out by Trent Copeland, Mitchell Starc and Luke Butterworth.
"Unfortunately James Faulkner has been ruled out of the Australia A tour of Zimbabwe with glandular fever," the chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said. "This is obviously very disappointing for James, he is a very exciting young player and the tour presented a great opportunity for him to display his skills at the next level.
"The national selection panel has decided that John Hastings will join the Australia A tour for the one-day series and Peter Siddle will join the squad for the longer format games. Both John and Peter have had a reasonable period off cricket and the tour gives them a great opportunity to bowl at international level ahead of potential selection for the Australian tour of Sri Lanka."
The squad leaves Australia on Saturday for a triangular one-day series against Zimbabwe and South Africa A, before a pair of four-day games against the hosts.
Australia A four-day squad Tim Paine (capt, wk), David Warner, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson, Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Marsh, Luke Butterworth, Jason Krejza, Trent Copeland, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc, Michael Beer.
Australia A one-day squad Tim Paine (capt, wk), David Warner, Aaron Finch, Callum Ferguson, Nic Maddison, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh, Luke Butterworth, Stephen O'Keefe, John Hastings, Trent Copeland, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc.