Hastings a surprise selection in Australia World Cup squad

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MELBOURNE - Inexperienced all-rounder John Hastings has been a surprise selection in Australia’s 15-man World Cup squad.

Michael Hussey was also named despite suffering a serious hamstring injury on Sunday. Hussey will have his rehabilitation program determined in the next 24 hours, but faces a race against the clock to be fit for Australia’s World Cup defence.

He will almost certainly miss the entire seven-game series against England, with a replacement yet to be finalized, The Age reports.

Hastings, who has played two games for Australia, has been drafted in to provide all-round cover for Shane Watson.

His versatility edged him ahead of Peter Siddle, Australia’s most consistent bowler during the Ashes, and Doherty, the country’s best slow bowler in domestic 50-over cricket in recent seasons.

As expected, speedster Brett Lee made the final cut after his impressive comeback to ODI cricket last Sunday and will lead Australia’s pace attack on the subcontinent.

Shaun Tait will tour despite missing Australia’s last match due to back stiffness, while left-arm pair Doug Bollinger and Mitchell Johnson were also picked despite wayward performances in Melbourne.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said the squad had found the right balance of youth and experience.

“One of the major decisions to be made in this squad was ensuring the balance was right in the squad to provide the best cover for all positions in the event of injury, illness or form issues that may arise,” Hilditch said.

SQUAD: Ricky Ponting (c), Michael Clarke (vc), Doug Bollinger, Brad Haddin, John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Tim Paine, Steve Smith, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson, Cameron White. (ANI)

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