Australia in England 2013 August 15, 2013

Fawad Ahmed named in Australia ODI squad


Fawad Ahmed is expected to make his long-awaited debut for Australia during the limited-overs series that follows the Ashes after being named in an 18-man squad at the expense of Xavier Doherty. Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has also been included and should play his first ODI in three years, while Doherty and the allrounder Mitchell Marsh were the only players dropped from the squad that contested the Champions Trophy in June.

The most fascinating inclusion is that of Ahmed, a legspinner who arrived in Australia in 2010 as an asylum seeker from Pakistan, where he had played ten first-class games over four years. Ahmed impressed for Victoria during the 2012-13 season and his Australian citizenship was fast-tracked this year in an effort to make him available for the Ashes, although he was ultimately not chosen in the Test squad.

But Australia's selectors remain keen on Ahmed as an international option and have been impressed by his bowling during the ongoing Australia A tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa. Although Ahmed has collected only two wickets in the five one-day games on the tour, the selectors believe he has bowled better than his figures indicate, and he will be the lead spinner alongside allrounder Glenn Maxwell in the limited-overs games in England.

"Fawad Ahmed gets his opportunity as the squad's lead spinner," the national selector John Inverarity said. "Fawad has been a consistent wicket-taker on the Australia A tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa. He is a mature and very good leg-spin bowler, and the national selection panel is keen to see how he fares in international competition ... He has been bowling very well in South Africa and turning the ball and troubling the batsmen so we're keen to have a look at him.

"He takes Xavier Doherty's place. Xavier has been a fine performer for Australia over the years. We haven't selected the side for India, for the seven ODIs there in October, but it's likely that both players will be on that tour. He [Doherty] is very much a known quantity and he's a wonderful young man and a very good cricketer. He can be hopeful that further opportunities will come his way."

The 18-man squad will gather for the two Twenty20s against England that follow the Ashes and the group will then be trimmed to 15 for the one-off ODI against Scotland and five against England in September. While Mitchell Marsh was replaced by Steven Smith after having limited impact in the Champions Trophy, his brother Shaun was included and is likely to play in the T20s, but whether he remains part of the squad for the ODIs is unclear.

The same can be said of Aaron Finch, who has been captain of Australia A during the African tour, while the rest of the batting line-up was largely as expected. However, there was no place for Nic Maddinson, the young New South Wales batsman who has played a number of eye-catching innings for Australia A in the British Isles and Africa over the past couple of months, including a remarkable 181 from 143 balls against Gloucestershire in Bristol.

"While he hasn't been selected in this squad, the national selection panel also notes the strong performances of Nic Maddinson in recent months for Australia A," Inverarity said. "We look forward to him continuing to build on that good form and pressing his claims for higher honours in the future."

The pace attack will be led by the experienced Mitchell Johnson and Clint McKay, but also features younger talent including Nathan Coulter-Nile, who made his T20 international debut in February, and Hazlewood, who also reappeared in the national side via February's T20 against West Indies. Hazlewood, 22, made his ODI debut in England in 2010 but has always been regarded by the selectors as a player to watch.

"We're looking forward to him showing his wares in international cricket again," Inverarity said. "He made his debut for Australia in 2010 at the age of 19. Three years later he's a stronger young man and a better bowler. He has been very impressive with his form in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

"I've been talking with Andy Bichel, who's the selector on duty in Zimbabwe and South Africa, and Josh has been very impressive, has bowled with good pace and good accuracy and has been moving the ball. I think it's the right time for him to come through and join the international squad."

Squad Michael Clarke (ODI capt), George Bailey (T20 capt), Fawad Ahmed, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Phillip Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade (wk), David Warner, Shane Watson.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sakush on August 17, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    Cameron White is in superb form in the English Summer. Should have been included for the T20s at least. White's last few limited overs innings 36*, 63*, 65, 29, 58*, 30, 71, 22. He and Azharullah carried Northamptonshire to the Final of FL T20.

  • Graham on August 17, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    This is a clear indication that Australia can't be bothered winning the one day series. Fawad has been smashed all over the park in these a tour games and they are trying to discover a leg spinner. why nit try someone young if your grasping at straws go with Zampa or Boyce. I cannot understand this decision.

  • Scott on August 16, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    @_Australian_, couldn't agree more. If we aren't picking Lyon as our spinner, Agar is the perfect choice. Still disappointed with the bowlers in this squad - how is it that Harris or Siddle aren't even in the squad, fitness concerns aside? For me, we should basically be playing our test team in ODIs with only 1 or 2 changes at most. If we are sticking with Khawaja as our test #3, surely he has to be good enough to bat in our top order in ODIs also? This nonsense with specialists isn't working and we don't have one side out of the three formats that looks particularly good because of it. The sooner we remove Invers from head of selectors the better as his incompetence is already ruining us.

  • Syed on August 16, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    CA know something we don't know otherwise why would they pick fawad? Maybe they want him to learn from Warne, since they are both leggies? Guys give him a chance because who knows he may, with all his luck, win Australia plenty of matches!

  • Murtaza on August 16, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    now what happened to Ashton Agar, he should be named in limited overs squad instead of test squad.. Australia have stopped producing good spinners after Warne just because they do not put enough confidence in their spinners. Karejza,beer,hauritz,doherthy.. are the prime example..

  • James on August 16, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    @dashe, you dont know what you are talking about. Hazelwood is one of the most talented bowlers we've had come through the ranks for decades. He is 22 years old and has played 20 first class games. He has been plagued by fitness issues, but I predict that once he gets a few straight games under his belt he will be an automatic selection in all our national teams. I had a friend who went and watched him play at the MCG a few months ago, and he came back raving about him - he said everyone else there was raving about him too. And my friend is a Victorian, so that's saying something.

  • Woody on August 16, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    HAzelwood has been playing FC cricket for half a decade and is yet to take 5 wickets in an innings in any form of cricket. I really like Ben Cutting from QLD I am not sure why he is not given more chances.

  • Dayne on August 16, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge - I think you must have 'accidentally' forgotten the fact that Lyon just took 7/97 in the most recent test against your average English side. Good enough to beat Aus atm does not = good.

    Sorry to pull you up on that, just wouldn't want you looking like an ignorant troll is all.

    And whilst we are on the subject of certain countries playing players born elsewhere - people in glass houses mate (multiplied about 11 times over by your precious England/Ireland/South African fusion team in the last 3-4 years).

    Onto serious cricket discussion now - Fawad is handy, looks like he'll do OK in all formats if given a decent run. Early days into his international exposure so patience and support is the key for him.

    Doherty is handy enough, however I believe looking elsewhere is a good idea. After England's long, hot summer the pitches may be useful for .

    Similar to an article sent out the other day re: Lyon, we must measure our expectations of Ahmed. Warne = once in a lifetime

  • Robert on August 16, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    I am surprised that they have not selected Agar. He is a bowler capable of being very economical and is a good bat. Agar playing odi and t20 would be great for his confidence playing at international level going forward. Being so quickly dropped from the test team this was a perfect opportunity to give the kid more of a go. as for Ahmed Australia either need to go for him in test cricket or not. I doubt he will be effective in the shorter formats.

  • Kerry on August 16, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Thirty one years old, 11 List A matches in 8 years, 5 of which were played in the last month (2/274, 6.37 rpo), 12 wickets @ 39.16, economy rate of 5.03 rpo. Fantastic. That's what we need; more performance-based selections.