Hodge in one-day squad for New Zealand
Brad Hodge has been included in Australia's 13-man squad for the three-match Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in New Zealand next month. Michael Lewis, the Victoria fast bowler, is the other new face in the squad while Brad Hogg, the left-arm chinaman bowler, will make his return after recovering from a knee injury and Glenn McGrath will be rested.
Hodge made his Test debut in the second match against West Indies at Hobart and replaced Damien Martyn, who was recovering from a broken finger. Trevor Hohns, the chairman of selectors, praised Hodge for his consistency and was confident that he would "do the job in the one-day side".
Injuries to several players - Shane Watson, James Hopes and Martyn - caused a number of changes to the side that played in the Super Series against the World XI. Cameron White, the allrounder, and Stuart Clark, the fast bowler, retained their positions. Lewis, a national contract holder, was rewarded for some consistent performances in the first-class arena.
"Michael has also been a very solid performer for Victoria for a very long time," Hohns said. "We have every confidence and faith that he will do a good job for us in the series and he thoroughly deserves his opportunity."
McGrath will remain in Australia during the Chappell-Hadlee series with the selectors keen to manage his workload ahead of the South Africa Tests. The first one-day match is at Auckland on December 3 with games also in Wellington and Christchurch.
Australian squad Ricky Ponting (capt), Adam Gilchrist (wk), Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Mike Hussey, Simon Katich, Michael Lewis, Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds, Cameron White.