Friday, January 21, 2011

Australian Cricket Squad for World Cup 2011

The four times champion defending Australia unveiled their squad on January 18, 2011 for next month's World Cup, banking on the fitness of a pair of injury-prone pacemen and elder statesmen Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey.

Veteran Brett Lee and enigmatic short-form specialist Shaun Tait were both included in the 15-man squad for the tournament in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which they are trying to win for the fourth successive time.

Ponting was named as skipper, but is still recovering from a broken finger, while Hussey made the squad but is a major doubt after a severe hamstring tear in the six-wicket win over England at the MCG on January 16, 2011.

Hussey is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks, with Australia's first game on February 21, and chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch conceded he was a doubt for the showpiece event.

Players can be replaced before the tournament.

By selecting Lee and Tait, as well as erratic duo Mitchell Johnson and Doug Bollinger, Australia will rely heavily on their pace bowlers to be at their best.

Lee performed well in Australia's win over England on January 16, 2011 but the 34-year-old and Tait are both on the comeback trail after serious elbow injuries.

The game of January 16, 2011 was Lee's first one-day international for Australia since October 2009 and he missed the 2007 World Cup triumph due to injury.

Tait, who played in the 2007 final but mainly plays Twenty20 cricket these days, was ruled out of last Sunday's game with a back problem.

The 27-year-old has only played three ODIs since February 2009, but taken eight wickets in those three matches.

The shock selection was Victorian all-rounder John Hastings, who has played just two one-day internationals, while David Hussey, Mike's younger brother, also made the squad.

Tasmanian wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine, touted by many as a future Australian captain, is part of the 15.

Victorian paceman Peter Siddle was not included, despite being one of the better Ashes performers for Australia with ball and bat.


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