Australia to select Ashes squad Wednesday

May 19th, 2009 - 8:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, May 19 (IANS) Australian cricket selectors will announce the Ashes squad
at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here Wednesday.

After a tumultuous year in which Australia has lost two series and a string of players to injury and retirement, the Ashes could be won or lost at the selection table.

The national selection panel led by Andrew Hilditch will also decide on the future of

Brett Lee and Andrew Symonds, who will be eyeing a return after being out with injuries and disciplinary issues respectively.

Skipper Ricky Ponting said he thought Symonds had a good chance to make the tour, The Australian reported Tuesday.

Lee’s form was indifferent before he was injured towards the end of the home series against South Africa.

There is also speculation that injury plagued Shane Watson and Victorian allrounder Andrew McDonald will keep Symonds out of the squad.

Nathan Hauritz’s solid but unspectacular form is likely to win him a berth ahead of the more attacking Jason Krejza.

Ponting, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Simon Katich, Phillip Hughes, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle are certain to make the cut.

Ben Hilfenhaus is a likely inclusion, with his fast outswing seen as ideal for English conditions.

Watson, McDonald, Hauritz, Marcus North and Stuart Clark are likely starters, with the final berth in a 15-man party to be between Lee, Symonds and Brad Hodge.

If the selectors opt to take 16 players it would allow them room for Graham Manou as the backup wicketkeeper.

Australia’s first tour match is against Sussex at Hove June 24. The first Test against England begins July 8.

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