Australia Pick Six Pacers for ODIs Against South Africa, Brad Haddin Rested
The Australians want to make the most of bouncy conditions in Perth and look to test South African batting in the first two ODIs with sheer pace. The first of five ODIs will be played on November 14.
Australia look to take advantage of a bouncy Perth pitch and has named six pacemen in its 13-man squad announced Wednesday for the first two matches of the upcoming One-Day series against South Africa.
The Australians will play five One-Day International (ODI) matches against the World No.1 side starting November 14, with the first two to be played on the pace-friendly pitches of Western Australia, reports Xinhua. (South Africa take No. 1 spot in ODI team rankings)
Given those conditions, it came as little surprise when the Australian squad was announced with six fast bowlers in it: Nathan Coulter-Nile, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Johnson, Mitch Marsh, Kane Richardson and Shane Watson.
"The squad caters for the Western Australian Cricket Association's (WACA) renowned fast and bouncy surface with six pace bowling options," said Rod Marsh, Australia's chief selector.
Coulter-Nile and Hazlewood are the surprise inclusions in the squad after missing previous tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe. However, both earned their recalls following some strong form at domestic level.
Coulter-Nile claimed 14 wickets from just five matches in the recent Matador Cup to be the tournament's in-form bowler. Hazlewood also took 14 wickets, from eight matches, including career-best figures of 7/36 against South Australia.
Both featured in the tournament's top three wicket-takers.
The abundance of pace bowlers also means the squad features no spinners, with only the part-time option of Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith on offer for captain Michael Clarke.
An overload of quick bowlers could also leave Australia short on batsmen ahead of South Africa's visit. But according to Marsh, that is not seen as an issue.
"We are pleased with the batting lineup that we have at our disposal," he said.
"It has great balance with the likes of Dave Warner, Aaron Finch and Shane Watson at the top of the order, complemented by players such as Michael Clarke, George Bailey and Steve Smith.
"At this stage, the squad is only for the first two matches of the series and balances out player preparation for long and short form cricket as we build into a big summer."
The squad also sees the return of Victorian wicket-keeper Matthew Wade. The 26-year-old hasn't featured in an Australian team of any sort since February, but replaces the rested Brad Haddin.
Five players - Sean Abbott, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Nathan Lyon and Mitch Starc - have been left out of the ODI squad that toured the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this year.
The five-match series is preceded by three Twenty20 matches.
The Australian squad:
Michael Clarke (captain), George Bailey (vice-captain), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson