Australia call up Henriques for Twenty20
Moises Henriques, the New South Wales allrounder, has won a surprise call-up into Australia's Twenty20 squad for the match against New Zealand in Sydney on Sunday. David Warner has also been recalled to a side that will be led by Michael Clarke with Ricky Ponting to take a rest after he talked the selectors out of an extended break during the Chappell-Hadlee Series.
The wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has been rewarded after less than a year as a full-time member of the team and has been handed the vice-captaincy in the absence of Michael Hussey, who will also be rested. It ends a remarkable run for Hussey, who has not missed an international match in any format since September 2006.
"Given the high workload of Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey since the Indian Test series in October we have decided, in consultation with these players, it is appropriate they miss this game," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said. "With a hectic and competitive South African campaign departing the day after this match, we felt this option was best in the interest of the players' workload management."
As well as resting two senior batsmen a break the selectors were also keen to push for the development of several young players in the lead-up to this year's ICC World Twenty20. Henriques, 22, has already been signed up by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, spent time with the ODI squad in Darwin in September and played against the New Zealanders recently as part of the Prime Minister's XI. He conceded 70 runs from ten overs and hit two sixes in his 13-ball 20 as the visitors were beaten by six wickets.
"The national selection panel regards Moises as an exciting young player with the all-round ability to play a role in the World Twenty20," Hilditch said. "We recently included him in the PM's XI match against New Zealand where he played exceptionally well and we are hoping this opportunity will help him to continue his development."
But Henriques has clearly been chosen on potential having not had the breakthrough state season he was hoping for. He learnt of his selection while playing for the New South Wales Second XI at Melbourne's Junction Oval after being relegated following five Sheffield Shield appearances this summer in which he has a highest score of 45 and picked up three wickets, and his limited-overs form hasn't been much better.
"I was extremely surprised and shocked," Henriques told the Australian. "I was speechless for 15 minutes. Playing in a state second XI game there is a massive contrast, but I'm really looking forward to the opportunity. I haven't had the year I wanted to have. It's been inconsistent and disappointing, but with every day comes an opportunity."
Callum Ferguson, the South Australia batsman who has played Australia's past three ODIs, is also in line for his Twenty20 international debut. The inclusion of Warner means he will have to wait for a potential first-class debut; he was hoping to be named in the New South Wales side for their Sheffield Shield match starting on the weekend.
Sunday will feature a Twenty20 double-header at the SCG, with the Australian women's side taking on their New Zealand counterparts before the men's game. It will be Australia's last official game till they begin their defence of the Women's World Cup, which kicks off in Australia on March 7.
Australia Twenty20 squad Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, Brad Haddin (wk), David Hussey, Cameron White, Callum Ferguson, Adam Voges, Moises Henriques, James Hopes, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Nathan Bracken, Ben Hilfenhaus.