Rookie Holland spins into one-day squad
Australia's Champions Trophy-winning one-day side will head to India with another new spinner after the Victorian Jon Holland was chosen for the seven-match tour. Holland, a 22-year-old left-arm orthodox, joins a 15-man unit that is missing the injured Michael Clarke (back), Brad Haddin (finger), Callum Ferguson (knee) and Nathan Bracken (knee).
Despite appearing in only a handful of senior games, Holland was tipped by Allan Border for a place on the Ashes tour and should gain some chances to impress in the series starting on October 25. "Jon is in the squad as we wanted to take the opportunity to give a young left-arm finger spinner exposure both to the Australian team set-up and Indian conditions," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said. "He has impressed in the recent Australia A series against Pakistan and in his time at the Centre of Excellence."
Holland picked up eight wickets during five matches in the A series and those encounters contributed to his career tally of only six first-class games and eight one-day contests. He joins a long list of slow bowlers who have been trialled in the past couple of years as the Australians try to find reliable replacements for Shane Warne, Stuart MacGill and Brad Hogg.
Terry Jenner, the spin coach, has warned about promoting Holland too early, but the selectors are in a hurry to examine him. "I hope he doesn't get chosen because there's no-one else," Jenner told Cricinfo in June. "I'd like them to pick Jon Holland because he's so good they can't leave him out. If you're looking at the next year or two you might be pushing him too fast."
The list of injuries continues to give Australia a chance to test its new talent, which contributed to the team's victory over New Zealand in the Champions Trophy on Monday. Michael Hussey takes over the vice-captaincy for the tour from Clarke and Shaun Marsh, the top-order batsman, is back following his lengthy battle with a nagging hamstring injury. Tim Paine holds the keeping gloves in Haddin's continued absence while Brett Lee, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger form a strong pace attack.
"We're delighted with Australia's recent success at the ICC Champions Trophy, which came off the back of a very solid ODI series performance against England in England," Hilditch said. "To reclaim our No.1 ICC world ranking was recognition of this squad's recent achievements but we recognise we have to continue to improve and to establish a winning culture within this young group of players on tough tours, like this, to India."
Australia squad Tim Paine (wk), Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Hussey, Adam Voges, Cameron White, Shaun Marsh, James Hopes, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle, Jon Holland, Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger.