Sydney, Jan 30 (IANS) Australia’s out-of-form batsman Shaun Marsh was dropped while wicketkeeper Brad Haddin was rested for the first three ODIs of the tri-series against India and Sri Lanka starting February 5.
Haddin has been replaced by Matthew Wade, who is also likely to open the batting with David Warner in the absence of Marsh and Shane Watson, who is still injured.
Marsh’s younger brother Mitchell, however, found a place in the side but will miss the first two matches to play a Shield game against Queensland.
Queensland batsman Peter Forrest was the surprise inclusion, while South Australian all-rounder Dan Christian is likely to join Wade and Forrest as an ODI debutant.
Xavier Doherty is the only spinner in the squad, replacing Test off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who is recovering from a minor thigh injury ahead of the tour of the West Indies in March and April.
Veteran fast bowlers Brett Lee (35) and Ryan Harris (32) were also selected.
John Inverarity, chairman of the National Selection Panel (NSP), said the squad is a talented mix of experienced and proven performers with young players not yet experienced at international level.
“We want a flying start to the Commonwealth Bank Series against India and Sri Lanka and as always, have selected a group we are confident can win while also keeping an eye on development for the future,” said Inverarity.
“Peter Forrest, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Dan Christian and Clint McKay are in form and will have a chance to either prove or further prove themselves on the international stage,” he said.
On Marsh, who made just 17 runs over six Test innings in the 4-0 series win over India, Inveriarity said: “Shaun Marsh is obviously disappointed with his own form in recent weeks and is out of the side but remains in our thinking for the future while he works at state level. As they say, class is permanent but form can be temporary.”
Inverarity said Wade was selected keeping in mind that a backup gloveman was desirable for this year’s Caribbean trip, which included three Tests in April.
“The West Indies is a pretty difficult place to get to from Australia, so at this stage and it will depend on the budget, but we’re keen to have two keepers there throughout the West Indies tour,” Inverarity said. “If a keeper breaks his hand it would probably be five days to a week before a replacement could get organised, get there, recover from jetlag and be ready to play.
“If you’ve got one wicketkeeper in the West Indies and two days before a Test he breaks his hand and cannot keep, what do you do?”
Inverarity said Haddin hadn’t been dropped and was likely to feature later in the ODI series.
“The workload for a wicketkeeper/batsman is rigorous and resting him for the start of the series will refresh him for coming international commitments while also giving us a chance to look at Matt Wade at this level,” Inverarity said in a statement.
Inverarity, however, added it is yet to be seen whether Haddin would return for the later stages of the one-day series against Sri Lanka and India or whether he would opt for a long break.
“That’s up to Brad. He won’t be playing the next Shield match because being a Canberra lad he’s captaining the side for the Prime Minister’s XI,” Inverarity said.
“The Shield match starts the next day. I think that’s a good opportunity for Brad to be able to put his feet up for a bit. I think an essential part of preparation is refreshment and the opportunity to take it easy for a time and get mentally refreshed.
“It provides a terrific opportunity for Matthew Wade. We hope Matthew Wade keeps and bats brilliantly and then we have two keepers at the level, because you never know when a wicketkeeper is going to break down. We’re all for developing Matthew Wade and Brad Haddin both together,” he said.
Australian ODI squad: Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, Ricky Ponting, Peter Forrest, Dan Christian, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), Brett Lee, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc, Xavier Doherty, Clint McKay, Mitch Marsh.