Australia squad announced for tri-series in Zimbabwe; Nathan Lyon returns to ODI fold
Australia tour Zimbabwe for the first time since 2004 © Getty Images
Sydney: Aug 4, 2014
Spinner Nathan Lyon was called up to Australia‘s one-day squad for their tri-series against Zimbabwe and South Africa, with Ben Cutting, Kane Richardson and Mitchell Marsh also getting the nod. Test star Lyon has not played a limited overs international since March 2012 but has been working with Sri Lankan spin great Muttiah Muralitharan and was preferred to Xavier Doherty.
“Nathan Lyon has done very well in Test match cricket, but first came under notice through his performances in short form cricket,” said national selector Rod Marsh. “He bowled well in last year’s (One Day) Cup competition and having not played an ODI since early 2012, the National Selection Panel is keen to see him in action again.”
The one-day series, which gets under way in Harare on August 25, will be the first time Australia has toured Zimbabwe since 2004. It also signals the start of a busy summer for the national team led by Michael Clarke, which includes a possible 18 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) between now and the start of the Cricket World Cup in February 2015.
“This tri-series against Zimbabwe and South Africa is another important step in our preparation for the ICC Cricket World Cup early next year,” said Marsh. “We have introduced a number of players into this squad who provide plenty of options with bat and ball.”
Fast bowler Cutting earned his spot after some good recent form for Australia A while seamer Richardson has benefited from being taken under the wing of Mark Waugh. All-rounder Marsh was also included in the 14-man squad, but there was no room for Phil Hughes, despite thrashing a double century for Australia A against South Africa A recently.
Marsh’s recall comes on the strength of his recent bowling. “He’s capable of opening the bowling or coming on through the middle overs and can do so with good pace which is pleasing,” Rod Marsh said.
“It’s the sign of a true all-rounder if they can be in the side for either their bowling or batting and he is certainly getting close to that which is great for Australian cricket.” He added that Hughes was unlucky to miss out but selectors would continue to monitor his form.
“We would have loved to pick Phillip but it’s quite difficult to find the spot for him with a strong batting line-up,” said Marsh. The squad will go into camp in Brisbane from August 16 before departing for Zimbabwe four days later.
The tour kicks off against Zimbabwe on August 25, followed by a clash with South Africa two days later, Zimbabwe again on August 31 and then South Africa on September 2. All games are in Harare with the final on September 6.
Michael Clarke (c), George Bailey, Ben Cutting, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Shane Watson.