Ponting axed from Australia’s ODI squad, Watson returns

February 20th, 2012 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Feb 20 (IANS) Veteran batsman and former captain Ricky Ponting was Monday dropped from a 13-man Australian squad for the One-Day Internationals while all-rounder Shane Watson makes a return from injury for the remainder of the tri-series involving India and Sri Lanka.

Captain Michael Clarke has come back into the side after recovering from a hamstring injury while fast bowler Mitchell Starc was replaced with Ryan Harris for the games Feb 24 (against India) and Feb 26 (Sri Lanka).

Commenting on the squad and Ponting’s exclusion, National Selector John Inverarity said: “Ricky Ponting has been dropped from the squad due to his lack of form in the five matches to date in this series. The team will not seem the same without him, but moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport.”

Ponting captained Australia in Clarke’s absence and could score only 18 runs in five attempts.

Inverarity added: “Shane Watson also comes back into the squad. He is an all-rounder of proven class and the national selection panel is keen to have him re-join the squad.

“The NSP made the decision that Matthew Wade is now the preferred ODI wicket-keeper for the Australian ODI team. The intention at this stage is to have both Matthew and Brad Haddin in the West Indies together for the duration of the tour,” he said.

Full squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson (vice-captain), Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

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