Thursday, June 18, 2009

England vs Australia Ashes 2009: Australian Squad

Australian selectors declared the 16-member Australian squad for Ashes 2009 test series which kicks off on July 8 in England. The biggest news of the selection is the omission of star all rounder Andrew Symonds who returned to Australian squad in the recent ODI series against Pakistan in UAE. Moreover, Symonds, who was dropped from the South Africa tour earlier this year following the latest of a series of off-field problems that he was involved, performed pretty well in the ODI series against Pakistan and in IPL 2009 too.

Australian captain Ricky Pointing, who backed Symonds in his bad days, said that Symonds would be disappointed with this decision, but the selectors picked up the strongest squad for the Ashes 2009. Ponting also revealed his desire to become the winning captain of Ashes series in England.

All rounder Shane Watson, who is currently recovering from groin strain, replaced Andrew Symonds to become one of the two all rounders named in the squad alongside Andrew McDonald. Chief of the selectors Andrew Hilditch termed the squad as an exciting combination of experience and youth and he expects to see an exciting Ashes Series in England. Though there is only one uncapped player: Graham Manou- who has been included as the reverse wicketkeeper, 11 of the 16 players are going to take part in their first Ashes series.

Three Australian pacers Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus have retained their place in the test squad thanks to their excellent bowling performance in the South Africa tour. Two more pacers Stuart Clark and Brett Lee have returned to the test squad after getting over injury problems. Nathan Hauritz is the only specialist spinner in the squad. In the presence of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey and Simon Katich, Australian batting line up features enough experience, while the young talents like Phillip Hughes and McDonald are there to show their talent. Overall, Australian squad for Ashes 2009 series looks balanced and strong enough to make it a tough series for England who will be gearing up to retain the Ashes series at home.

Australia Squad for Ashes 2009 Test Series

Ricky Ponting, Stuart Clark, Nathan Hauritz, Phillip Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Graham Manou, Peter Siddle, Michael Clarke (vc), Brad Haddin (wk), Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hussey, Simon

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