• Watson gets the nod

    August 12, 2015
    Shane Watson & Darren Lehmann

    Shane Watson’s international career remains alive as he was retained for the one-off ODI against Ireland, and the five ODIs and one-off T20 against England.

    Xavier Doherty was the only one dropped from their world cup-winning squad, but the retirements of Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin, an injury to Aaron Finch, the suspended James Faulkner and the rested pace pair of Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood gives the squad a new-look feel.

    Watson’s inclusion provides some much-needed experience to the side, with Steve Smith named captain in an official capacity for the first time.

    Ashton Agar and Joe Burns could be in line for debuts after impressing with Australia A, while little-known all-rounder Marcus Stoinis also cracked the nod. Usman Khawaja, however, the captain of the second-string side and the highest domestic run-scorer for two consecutive years, can consider himself unlucky to miss out.

    Pat Cummins and James Pattinson’s inclusion in the team is a major boost to Australian cricket given the extensive injury battles the pair has endured over the years.

    Their shorter-format campaign kicks off on 27 August with the ODI against the Irish in Belfast.

    Australian squad: Steve Smith (capt), Ashton Agar, George Bailey, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Shane Watson, David Warner, Cameron Boyce (T20I only)



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