Australia name Nannes for Twenty20s
Two months after making his debut for Netherlands, Dirk Nannes has been given a lifeline by Australia after being named for the two Twenty20s in England following the Ashes. But Michael Hussey and Nathan Bracken have been axed from the Twenty20 squad as the selectors consider changes ahead of next year's World Twenty20.
Ricky Ponting will also rest from the two Twenty20s at Old Trafford and will miss the start of the ODI series, when he will return to Australia as part of his workload management. However, Ponting was still named as captain of the ODI squad and is expected to return to England for the back end of the one-day series.
"Ricky Ponting is having his workload managed and will return home to Australia after the fifth Test at the Oval and will miss the ODI against Scotland, the two Twenty20s and the start of the of the ODI series against England," the chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said.
"This is the last opportunity we have to give Ricky a break until next year, with the ICC Champions Trophy, ODIs against India and of course a full domestic summer against the West Indies and Pakistan to finish 2009. The plan for him to return to Australia before rejoining the team is considered the most appropriate course of action."
Michael Clarke will captain the team in Ponting's absence and he will be in charge of a familiar-looking one-day squad. The only surprise in the ODI group was the addition of a second wicketkeeper with Tasmania's Tim Paine confirmed as the preferred one-day backup for Brad Haddin, who will act as vice-captain under Clarke.
But the axing of Hussey, Bracken and Peter Siddle from the Twenty20 line-up gives a strong indication that the selectors will consider a more specialist squad for the World Twenty20 in the West Indies early next year. Australia's poor showing at this year's event in England led to criticism of the selectors for not choosing more Twenty20 specialists.
The addition of Nannes, 33, is the major surprise after he failed to make the 30-man preliminary group for this year's World Twenty20 despite being the best bowler in Australia's domestic Twenty20 competition over the past two years. Nannes' Dutch passport allowed him to play for Netherlands this year but the selectors are keen to see him in Australian colours.
"The National Selection Panel is using the two matches against England to look at different make-ups to the squad and include players who we consider Twenty20 specialists in preparation for the ICC World Twenty20 next year," Hilditch said. "We obviously know what Mike Hussey and Nathan Bracken are capable of in one-day and Twenty20 cricket but with limited opportunities at international level in this format of the game we wanted to look at different players as we look to improve our Twenty20 performances. Their omissions do not mean we won't look to them for the World Twenty20.
"With respect to the one-day side, we have picked a team that we believe can do well against England, but with a view to preparing for the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa which follows directly after the series. The one new face is Tim Paine. Tim performed outstandingly in the recent Australia A series and we thought it was necessary to have a second wicketkeeper on tour."
ODI squad Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Hussey, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin, Tim Paine, James Hopes, Cameron White, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle, Nathan Bracken, Ben Hilfenhaus.
Twenty20 squad David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt), Callum Ferguson, David Hussey, Adam Voges, Brad Haddin, Cameron White, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, Dirk Nannes.