Jason Krejza wins surprise ODI call-up
Jason Krejza is in line for a surprise international comeback and Cameron White will captain Australia's ODI team for the first time in the final match against England in Perth on Sunday. Australia have already wrapped up the series with a 5-1 lead and with the World Cup rapidly approaching, Michael Clarke and Shane Watson will be rested for the series finale.
That has opened the door for the Western Australia batsman Adam Voges to make his return to the squad, nearly a year after he last played for Australia. And Steven Smith has been ruled out with a hip injury that he sustained during Wednesday's win at the SCG, which will increase the chances of Krejza making his one-day debut as the sole specialist spinner in the squad.
If Krejza plays at the WACA, it will be his first international outing since he was belted out of the Test attack at the same venue by South Africa in December 2008, when his aggressive bowling style that leaked runs proved costly. That was his second Test, and it undid much of the good work he achieved by taking 12 wickets during his debut against India in Nagpur the previous month.
However, since then Krejza has been an effective offspinner in the shorter formats for Tasmania, and at times the Tigers have even used him to open the bowling. The absence of the preferred slow bowlers Nathan Hauritz (shoulder), Xavier Doherty (back) and Smith, could even give Krejza the slim hope of a World Cup call-up, despite not being in the 30-man preliminary squad.
"Jason is a very skilled spinner and more than capable batsman who has already enjoyed international success and we are sure will seize the opportunity," the chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said. "Adam is having a very successful Ryobi Cup season for Western Australia and has good all-round skills with bat, ball and in the field. Adam was part of the Australian team's one-day series win in India late in 2009 and we are sure will relish the chance to again represent his country."
The other major change is the leadership, which will be handled by White, who last month became Australia's new Twenty20 captain. White has been vice-captain under Clarke during this series and the selectors are confident he will lead the side well, with the newly in-form Clarke in need of a break in the lead-up to the World Cup.
"Both Michael Clarke and Shane Watson have had a very heavy workload this summer and as key players going into the ICC Cricket World Cup a decision has been made that they will not play in Perth for the final match of this series," Hilditch said. "Shane and Michael will remain in Sydney until attending the Allan Border Medal on Monday which provides them a few days at home before departing for India next Wednesday.
"Cameron White will assume captaincy of the side for this match and we are sure given his performance as vice-captain this series and record as captain of Victoria, he will do a fine job in leading this side."
White will become the 19th man to captain Australia in one-day internationals and the first Victorian since Shane Warne led the team in 11 matches in 1998-99. He will be in charge of a side thin on batting experience, with the backup wicketkeeper Tim Paine the likely man to replace Watson as Brad Haddin's opening partner.
Squad Brad Haddin (wk), Tim Paine, Callum Ferguson, Cameron White (capt), David Hussey, Adam Voges, Mitchell Johnson, John Hastings, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Doug Bollinger.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo