Melbourne: Aaron Finch will replace out-of-form David Hussey in the Australia limited-overs team to play the West Indies on Feb. 1 and 3. Hussey struggled with the bat in the just completed five-match series against Sri Lanka, prompting the promotion of Finch into the 13-man squad for the two games at Perth.
"A top four of (David) Warner, Finch, (Phil) Hughes and (Michael) Clarke has good balance and the team looks forward to getting better starts than has been the case recently," Chairman of selectors John Inverarity said. Fast bowler James Pattinson and allrounder Shane Watson were both considered for selection, but have been given more time to overcome injuries.
Inverarity said Pattinson would likely travel to Perth to practice with the team, while Shane Watson has been making "pleasing progress" in recent weeks. "(Watson) is planning on playing for his Sydney club (Saturday) and will be available for selection for New South Wales' One-Day Cup fixture against Western Australia on 30 January," he said.
Inverarity said Michael Clarke, who has been named to captain the team is making steady progress with the ankle he injured on Jan. 22 , "and we are confident that Michael will recover in time to be fit for the first of the ODI fixtures against the West Indies on 1 February." The selectors were happy with the Australia's win in Hobart on Wednesday when it leveled the series with Sri Lanka at 2-2 with one match abandoned.
"The National Selection Panel was delighted with the ODI team's impressive win against Sri Lanka in Hobart on Wednesday, in particular with Phillip Hughes' well-crafted innings and the bowling of Xavier Doherty and Moises Henriques," Inverarity said. "There were concerns, however, with the team's batting performances during the series when the conditions were conducive to swing bowling, conditions that were beautifully exploited by Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga.
Australia squad: Michael Clarke (captain), George Bailey, Ben Cutting, Xavier Doherty, Aaron Finch, Moises Henriques, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.