SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia have rested all rounder Shane Watson and quick bowler Ben Hilfenhaus and dropped batsman Peter Forrest from their squad to play a three-match one-day series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates starting next month.
Watson was injured while Forrest and Hilfenhaus struggled in the recent 4-0 series loss to England and none was included in the 15-strong party, although Watson and Hilfenhaus were named in the Twenty20 squad that will play three matches in Dubai.
The most surprising inclusion in both squads was little known 23-year-old all rounder Glenn Maxwell, who has played just 11 first class matches for Victoria since his debut last year.
Mitchell Johnson was included in the squad after proving his fitness on the tour of England but his young fellow fast bowler Pat Cummins, who returned home injured from Britain, was included in the Twenty20 squad but not the one-day group.
“The ODI squad has a strong development aspect to it,” chief selector John Inverarity said in a media release.
”Shane Watson and Ben Hilfenhaus have not been included and Brett Lee has retired.
“This will provide development opportunities for others and allow Shane and Ben to complete a more thorough strength and conditioning programme before embarking on a very demanding schedule.”
The Twenty20 side will use the three-match series against Pakistan, which starts on September 5, as part of their preparations for the World Cup and the squad was a “strong indicator” of the party likely to go on to Sri Lanka, Inverarity said.
With Maxwell joining Brad Hogg and Xavier Doherty in the Twenty20 group, Australia will be able to play three spin bowlers in conditions that are likely to suit slow bowling.
”Glenn Maxwell is a relatively inexperienced player,“ conceded Inverarity. ”He’s a versatile and lively off-spinning all-rounder and brilliant fieldsman that has caught the eye of the (selection panel).
“Glenn will provide another spin bowler option on the slow, low, turning wickets in the UAE.”
The one-day series opens in Sharjah on August 28, before a match in Abu Dhabi (August 31) and the final encounter back in Sharjah (September 3).
One day - Michael Clarke (captain), David Warner, George Bailey, Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade.
Twenty20 - George Bailey (captain), Shane Watson, Dan Christian, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brad Hogg, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Cameron White
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; editing by Peter Rutherford