The Cricket Australia National Selection Panel (NSP) has today announced a 14-man squad for the KFC T20 INTL matches against India.
Two KFC T20 INTL matches will be played between Australia and India, with the first taking place at Sydney Olympic Park on 1 February, 2012.
George Bailey has been named the new Australian T20 captain.
The Australian squad is:
Commenting on the squad, National Selector John Inverarity said: “Australia's T20 Team has been ranked a disappointing 6th in World Rankings. It is considered that the team needs refreshment and a number of changes have been made.
“The NSP has been discussing this T20 squad for about six weeks and has unanimously decided on the squad, the captain and the vice-captain. The selectors consider this to be a very well balanced T20 squad and look forward to the team acquitting itself very well.
“The NSP has the T20 World Cup to be held in Sri Lanka in September to the fore in its mind with these selections.
“When selecting any cricket team there are 11 spaces on the team sheet and it is the intention of those selecting the team to name the 11 players who will together form the team that will perform best. It is a very simple strategy.
“The T20 squad is a strong all-round team. It has batting depth with a good mix of left and right handers, bowlers who have an abundance of specific T20 skills, excellent fielders, plenty of energy and assertiveness and excellent leadership.
“The NSP is confident the team will acquit itself very well.
“Shane Watson has yet to regain match fitness and was not considered for selection. The intention is for Shane to take how ever long it takes to become fully fit and then to declare himself available for selection.
“Brett Lee and Bradley Hogg are the veterans in the team and provide a pleasing blend of experience with the youth and relative inexperience in the squad. Brad Hogg's bowling has been outstanding and his case for inclusion was compelling. He has had a real impact in the BBL in recent weeks.
“The NSP unanimously favoured George Bailey as Captain of the T20 team. George is a very good T20 player with a sound record. He is widely respected and regarded as an outstanding captain, having had sustained success in this role. The role of the captain is especially important in fast moving T20 cricket. Meticulous preparation then needs to be accompanied by cool split-second decision making throughout the 120 events when the team is in the field. A captain can have a most significant impact on a game even if he does not bowl or get to the crease.
“The NSP is looking to the new leadership of Mickey Arthur, Bailey and David Warner to drive a focused, disciplined and fiercely determined culture in this team.”
The Australian squad assembles in Sydney on 29 January, 2012.
KFC T20 INTL
1 February: Australia v India, at Sydney Olympic Park
3 February: Australia v India, MCG
For ticket information, please visit www.cricket.com.au/tickets and those people interested in travel packages please visit www.cricket.com.au/travel
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 23 January, 2012 1:40PM AEST