Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Australia named squad for tour of West Indies

Australia on Tuesday named a revamped Test squad for the upcoming tour of the West Indies, recalling run-maker Simon Katich and including two spin bowlers.

Veteran leg spinner Stuart MacGill and left-arm spinner Beau Casson are among 15 players selected in the squad for the three-Test series, while Michael Clarke was named vice-captain after the retirement of veteran Adam Gilchrist.

Cricket Australia also named a 14-man squad for the five one-day internationals against the West Indies, which includes batsman Michael Hussey's younger brother David for the first time.

Chair of national selectors Andrew Hilditch said 26-year-old Clarke would be vice-captain to Ricky Ponting for both squads after he demonstrated his leadership credentials during the summer.

"With Adam Gilchrist retiring after a stellar Australian career we have identified the need to look towards the future,"
Hilditch said in a statement.

Hilditch said 37-year-old MacGill, who has claimed 203 Test wickets since earning his baggy green in 1998, had used the domestic series to prove he was back to fitness after hand surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.

Casson also won selectors' attention during the summer, with the 25-year-old taking the wicket that won New South Wales the Sheffield Shield competition and finishing the season with 29 wickets at an average of 35.

David Hussey and Cameron White were selected for the one-day squad, alongside 24-year-old batsman Shaun Marsh, son of former Test opener Geoff Marsh.

Hilditch said paceman Nathan Bracken, who is recovering from knee surgery, had been selected for the one-day squad "completely subject to fitness."

Australia begins its tour of the West Indies with the first Test in Jamaica on May 22, moving to Antigua for the second from May 30 and the final Test in Barbados on June 12.

The one-day internationals, which will follow a one-off Twenty20 match on June 20, will be begin in St Vincent on June 24 and conclude on July 6 in St Kitts.

Test team: Ricky Ponting (c), Michael Clarke (vc), Beau Casson, Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hussey, Phil Jaques, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Ashley Noffke, Andrew Symonds.

One-day squad: Ricky Ponting (c), Michael Clarke (vc), Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, James Hopes, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Andrew Symonds, Cameron White.

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