Sydney: Australia have kept faith in the same players currently struggling to retain the Ashes in England by naming a familiar-looking squad for this year’s Champions Trophy in South Africa.
The national selection panel (NSP) resisted the temptation to blood some of the country’s exciting youngsters and has stuck with the bulk of the senior players to defend their title.
The 15-man squad features nine players involved in the fifth Ashes Test, with six of the players in their 30s and just two under the age of 25.
“The NSP has selected a squad for the Champions Trophy which is similar to squad assembling in the UK to play against England,” the chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said.
“The Champions Trophy is a key event on ICC’s cricket calendar and is a good opportunity for us to see how this new-look Australian one-day squad goes in its bid to retain the trophy.”
Struggling batsman Mike Hussey and injured fast bowler Brett Lee were both included, but there was no place for opener Phillip Hughes and paceman Stuart Clark.
“The one-day team hasn’t played in a major tournament since the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup and this will be a good chance to see where we are at,” Hilditch said, adding that selectors also had one eye on the 2011 ICC World Cup in the subcontinent.
Squad – Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke, Nathan Bracken, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Peter Siddle, Adam Voges, Shane Watson, Cameron White.