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Cricket-Penpix of the Australia World Cup squad
February 5, 2015 / 3:02 AM / 3 years ago

Cricket-Penpix of the Australia World Cup squad

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Penpix of the Australia squad for the 2015 World Cup, which they are co-hosting with New Zealand:

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Michael Clarke, 33, right-handed batsman. 238 matches, 7762 runs, wickets 56. High score: 130.

Clarke will be lost to the Australians if he cannot prove himself fit to bat, bowl and field without restriction by Feb. 21, and his absence would be keenly felt.

Apart from being one of Australia’s finest batsmen since Ricky Ponting in his prime, Clarke’s creative approach to the captaincy has been key to his country’s revival.

One of only five squad members to have played at the World Cup before, he knows what it takes to win the title and has scored 669 runs at an average of 83.62 in his two tournaments.

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George Bailey, 32, right-handed batsman. 56 matches, 1,962 runs. High score: 156.

After relinquishing the Twenty20 captaincy and with a test recall unlikely, Bailey is a rarity in the squad as a 50-over specialist.

His 478 runs at an average of 95.6 as stand-in skipper on the 2013 tour of India established him as the go-to man when Clarke is injured and he may yet have the chance to show his calm leadership in the World Cup.

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Pat Cummins, 21, right-arm pace bowler. 10 matches, 14 wickets.

Few bowlers have made more of an impression on their test debut than Cummins did as a teenager with his 6-79 to lead Australia to a two-wicket victory over South Africa at Wanderers in November 2011.

While the last three years have been mainly spent recovering from back and foot injuries, his body has held up well enough this season for Australia to gamble on selecting him in their youthful pace attack.

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Xavier Doherty, 32, left-arm spinner. 59 matches, 55 wickets.

Doherty was a controversial selection ahead of test spinner Nathan Lyon but might not get much game time on the pace-friendly Australian pitches.

With Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith and Michael Clarke all able to offer a part-time spin option, Doherty might have few opportunities to show off his left-arm orthodox tweakers.

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James Faulkner, 24, all rounder (left-arm pace, right-hand bat) 38 matches, 770 runs, 50 wickets. High score: 116

The left-arm seamer would have been one of the first names on the squad list after his this season, even if the abdominal injury he picked up in the Tri-series final gainst England could see him miss the start of the World Cup.

Faulkner can swing the ball both ways, has good control and has developed into a ruthless finisher who can be relied upon to get Australia over the line if they are batting second.

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Aaron Finch, 28, right-handed batsman. 41 matches, 1,447 runs. High score: 148.

The big-hitting opener has had a stop-start international career but always forced himself back into the reckoning by weight of runs.

The 156 he hit off 63 balls with 14 sixes in a Twenty20 against England in 2013 illustrated his brutal firepower in the shorter forms of the game.

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Brad Haddin, 37, wicketkeeper. 118 matches, 2,996 runs. High score: 110. Dismissals: 165

A tough competitor with a sure pair of hands, Haddin seems to have been on the verge of losing his place as Australia’s first-choice wicketkeeper for the last four years.

His ability to launch a lower order counter-attack and his contribution to the leadership of the group have helped keep at bay the pretenders to his spot behind the wickets.

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Josh Hazlewood, 24, right-arm pace bowler. Eight matches, 12 wickets.

Long compared to fast bowling great Glenn McGrath, Hazlewood was one of the youngest players to play one-day cricket for Australia when he made his international debut in 2010.

The right-arm quick has played only seven matches since but all but one of them were this season and he grabbed his first five wicket-haul in a losing cause against South Africa at the WACA in November.

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Mitchell Johnson, 33, left-arm pace bowler. 145 matches, 224 wickets. High score: 73 not out

Described by Dennis Lillee as a “once-in-a-generation bowler,” the tall paceman now has two ICC Cricketer of the Year awards.

After spending a long period in the doldrums, Johnson returned to form with the white ball on the 2013 tour of India and has barely put a foot wrong since.

His 224 wickets at 25.50 in 145 ODIs tell only part of the tale of one of the few bowlers who can genuinely scare a batsman and turn a match in a couple of spellbinding overs.

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Mitchell Marsh, 23, all rounder (right-handed bat, right-arm fast) 14 matches, 420 runs, six wickets. High score: 89.

Another of Australia’s band of young all rounders, Marsh’s career has been plagued by the same hamstring problems that have dogged his brother Shaun.

Assured performances in his first two tests in the ill-fated series against Pakistan last year gave him the chance to put together a sustained run in the international game.

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Glenn Maxwell, 26, all rounder (right-handed bat, right-arm off-spin). 41 matches, 1,043 runs, 28 wickets. High score: 95.

An enigmatic and sometimes destructive batsman, he will have to go some this year to erase the memory of his embarrassing golden duck in the Big Bash T20 tournament in December, where he shouldered arms to a straight ball.

The brain freezes, though, are the trade-off for a potential match-winning talent with both bat and ball, as “The Big Show” proved in the final of the tri-series against England earlier this month.

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Steve Smith, 25, right-handed batsman. 50 matches, 1,147 runs, 27 wickets. High score: 104.

Smith burst onto the international scene in 2010 as a leg-spinning youngster who could make useful contributions with the bat.

Having long put bowling on the backburner, his form with the bat earned him the test captaincy when Clarke was injured at the back end of last year.

Three centuries and three half-centuries in 11 ODIs since last October have established him as one of Australia’s most important batsmen.

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Mitchell Starc, 25, left-arm fast bowler. 33 matches, 61 wickets. High score: 52 not out

The other left-armer in Australia’s pace attack, Starc deputised for the rested Johnson in the triangular series against India and England and was impressive with the new ball.

His 6-43 in the victory over the world champions in Melbourne helped take his career haul to 61 wickets at a shade over 20 runs apiece.

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David Warner, 28, left-handed batsman. 54 matches, 1,702 runs. High score: 163.

Aggressive, belligerent and when in full flow one of the most destructive batsmen in the modern game, Warner is a fixture in Australia’s opening partnership.

His one-day batting average of 33 is a good 15 runs lower than in tests, however, and he has possibly suffered from being rested from two one-day tours in the last couple of years.

His 127 runs off 169 balls against England in Sydney in January amply showed his potential value to the team.

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Shane Watson, 33, all rounder (right-arm medium pace, right-handed bat) 180 matches, 5,478, 164 wickets. High score: 185 not out.

Watson is a belligerent batsman and a World Cup winner in 2007 but often seems to throw his wicket away with a rash shot when looking set for a big score.

When free of the injuries that have plagued his career, Watson is always likely to contribute to his team’s cause with 10 tight overs and a wicket, often a key one. (Compiled by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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