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August 16, 2012
Australia's selectors have sprung no surprises with the squad for the ICC World Twenty20, naming the same 15 men they chose for the T20s against Pakistan in the UAE. The offspinning allrounder Glenn Maxwell is the only uncapped member of the squad, which also includes the 41-year-old spinner Brad Hogg, who originally retired from international cricket four years ago, before storming back into contention through the Big Bash League last summer.
They will form a three-man spin contingent along with Xavier Doherty, while the pace duties will be shared by Pat Cummins, Clint McKay, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Starc, along with the allrounders Daniel Christian and Shane Watson. Cameron White has been included after losing his place in the side and the national captaincy in January and will be one of several middle-order choices, along with David Hussey, Michael Hussey and the skipper George Bailey.
Matthew Wade will be Australia's gloveman for the tournament - Brad Haddin retired from T20 internationals last September - and will also be an important batsman who can play in a variety of positions. There was no room for Mitchell Marsh, Ryan Harris, Aaron Finch, Mitchell Johnson, Steve Smith or a number of other fringe T20 men who were part of the 30-man preliminary squad, although that was not surprising as the selectors showed their hand last month when they named the 15 for the UAE series.
Australia's Twenty20 players have three matches against Pakistan in Dubai on September 5, 7 and 10, before the fly to Sri Lanka for some warm-up matches ahead of the World T20. They have been grouped with West Indies and Ireland in the first stage of the tournament, with their first match against Ireland on September 19 in Colombo.
"A real strength of the squad is its flexibility and versatility," the national selector John Inverarity said. "It's a well-balanced side that will provide the captain, George Bailey, with plenty of options in both the batting line-up and bowling possibilities.
"The seam bowling has depth with Clint McKay, Pat Cummins, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitch Starc along with all-rounders Shane Watson and Dan Christian, and to a lesser extent Michael Hussey, who could be useful for an occasional over or two. Similarly there is depth in the spin bowling department with Brad Hogg, Xavier Doherty and also allrounders Glenn Maxwell and David Hussey. You can then add to that the possibility of the wrist spin of Cameron White and David Warner.
"There is a great deal of explosive strike power in the batting line-up that could see Matthew Wade at six, Cameron White at seven and either Dan Christian or Glenn Maxwell at eight. There is also a good blend of left and right handers with David Warner, Michael Hussey and Wade likely to be in the top seven.
"The ICC World Twenty20 promises to be a very exciting event as T20 cricket is so unpredictable. Our squad will be well prepared and we look forward to them playing some outstanding cricket and acquitting themselves especially well."
Australia squad David Warner, Shane Watson, Matthew Wade (wk), David Hussey, Michael Hussey, George Bailey (capt), Cameron White, Daniel Christian, Glenn Maxwell, Brad Hogg, Xavier Doherty, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Ben Hilfenhaus.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Brydon Coverdale
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Alastair Cook has got used to feeling of the axe hanging over him. Only his team-mates can save England now
They have to see a glass that is half-full, and play the game as if it is just that, a game; and an opportunity