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July 20, 2007
Australia have backed their World Cup-winning squad to repeat the job at the Twenty20 World Championship, with Brett Lee the only addition to the outfit that was successful in the Caribbean. Lee missed the World Cup with a serious ankle injury but has been named in Australia's 15-man group that will compete in South Africa in September.
The same players make up Australia's 14-man squad to tour India straight after the World Championship, although Brad Haddin was not included for that trip. Australia's seven-match ODI series with India begins at Bangalore on September 29, five days after the Twenty20 final.
Lee replaces Glenn McGrath, who retired after the trip to the West Indies, while Shaun Tait has also been chosen as he recovers from elbow surgery. Australia opted not to pluck any Twenty20 specialists from state cricket or test any untried talent in South Africa.
"We looked at the performances of some of the top domestic Twenty20 players, but ultimately we felt that the World Cup-winning side would adapt well and deserved the opportunity to prove that they can perform to the highest standards in both shorter forms of the game," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said. "It's fantastic to have Brett Lee back, fully fit and resuming his spot in the Australian side. He's back to training and raring to go."
Several players who must have come close to breaking into the Twenty20 side, including Cameron White, Luke Ronchi and Adam Voges, will have their own taste of overseas action in September on Australia A's tour of Pakistan. Voges will captain the group of 14, with White as his deputy.
Phil Jaques and Chris Rogers will make the trip, which might serve as an audition for Australia's vacant Test opener position. As expected, the outstanding performers from Australia's domestic season in 2006-07 were rewarded, including three players in their 30s. Two of those older members, David Hussey and Ashley Noffke, are yet to make their debuts for Australia.
Stuart MacGill's presence confirms that at 36 he is still prominent in the selectors' plans, although his fellow spinners Dan Cullen and Cullen Bailey were chosen as well. There was also a focus on allrounders, with James Hopes and Andrew McDonald recognised for their dominance at state level.
Twenty20 World Championship squad Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist (wk), Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Brad Hodge, Andrew Symonds, Michael Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wk), Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Shaun Tait.
Squad to tour India Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist (wk), Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Brad Hodge, Andrew Symonds, Michael Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Shaun Tait.
Australia A squad Phil Jaques, Chris Rogers, David Hussey, Adam Voges (capt), Cameron White, Luke Ronchi (wk), James Hopes, Andrew McDonald, Ashley Noffke, Cullen Bailey, Dan Cullen, Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger, Stuart MacGill.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Why the Indian opener would be well advised to shelve the hook and pull in Australia