By BV Swagath
Cricket Australia today has announced a 13-man squad for the 3rd and 4th ODIs against West Indies and has also given details of the departure of its 17-man Test Squad for India tour.
Shane Watson returns to international cricket after recovering from his injury although he will be only playing as an opening batsman. Usman Khawaja makes way for Watson in the 3rd and 4th ODIs against the West Indies at Canberra and Sydney respectively.
National Selector John Inverarity detailed Cricket Australia’s plan of departure for its squad to India saying: “The players in the 17-man squad will travel to India in three separate groups in an effort to find the best balance for players.
The First Test in Chennai is scheduled for 22-26 February. The principal warm-up fixture, a three-day game, will take place 16-18 February and another fixture will be held on 12-13 February, both in Chennai.
It is planned to have Jackson Bird, Ed Cowan, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Steve Smith travel to India on 7 February.
Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade will depart on 9 February, as will David Warner who is unavailable for the remainder of the Australian international summer as he recovers from his thumb injury.
The remaining six players - Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Xavier Doherty, Mitchell Starc, Phillip Hughes, Mitchell Johnson - will travel on 11 February at the conclusion of the Commonwealth Bank Series against West Indies. These plans are subject to minor alterations.
Ashton Agar, the 19 year-old slow left-arm spin bowler who has shown great promise since he debuted for West Australia in the Bupa Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales on 24-27 January, will be in India for the period 9-16 February and will play in the first warm-up fixture. He will provide ideal practice for the batsmen in the lead-up to that first Test in Chennai.
Last year we took Mitchell Starc to the West Indies to further his development and this is a similar opportunity for Ashton,” Inverarity said.
Australia Squad for 3rd and 4th ODIs: Michael Clarke (Captain), George Bailey, Ben Cutting, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Phillip Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (Wicket Keeper), Shane Watson