Hayden and McGrath recalled for Malaysia
Matthew Hayden and Glenn McGrath will make their one-day international returns after long absences during the mini-tour of Malaysia next month. Hayden has been picked in the 18-man squad for the first time since he was dropped after last year's England tour while McGrath is back from his self-imposed break to look after his wife Jane, who was re-diagnosed with cancer in January.
However, Adam Gilchrist will not make the trip and will continue preparing for the Champions Trophy in Perth, with Brad Haddin taking his spot and Michael Hussey being promoted to vice-captain. "Adam is a vital member of the Australian Test and one-day side and performs an extremely demanding role," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said. "After an extended break following the end of last season it has been decided the best way to prepare him physically and mentally for the upcoming summer is to allow him to train at home."
McGrath's start to the summer was debated heavily, but the bowler has got his wish of returning through the one-day series and seems likely to travel to India for the Champions Trophy, although the squad will be cut by four for the tournament in October. "We see this as an ideal opportunity for him to return to the international cricketing scene," Hilditch said, "and will use it to closely monitor his progress."
The recall of Hayden comes after he told Cricinfo he wanted his limited-overs spot back. Gilchrist's decision to stay in Western Australia means Hayden should be elevated to the top of the order for the series involving India and West Indies, which starts in Kuala Lumpur on September 12. Simon Katich, Mark Cosgrove and Phil Jaques have opened for Australia since Hayden was sacked and the four players will battle for the right to partner Gilchrist.
"Matthew has been a fantastic Australian player for a long time and has continued to press his claims," Hilditch said. "He is still very much in our thoughts for the World Cup and the one-day component of the Australian summer and this gives him an excellent opportunity to further impress."
Australia squad Matthew Hayden, Simon Katich, Mark Cosgrove, Phil Jaques, Ricky Ponting (capt), Andrew Symonds, Michael Hussey (vc), Michael Clarke, Damien Martyn, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wk), Brett Lee, Brad Hogg, Nathan Bracken, Daniel Cullen, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark, Glenn McGrath.
Peter English is the Australasian editor of Cricinfo