The National Selection Panel (NSP) today announced a 15-player squad for the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy in England, where Australia will be aiming to defend their title.
Australia’s squad is:
Commentating on the squad, CA National Selector John Inverarity said:
“The NSP has selected a well-balanced squad of 15 players under the leadership of Michael Clarke which it believes can continue Australia’s outstanding record at the ICC Champions Trophy.”
“George Bailey has been appointed vice-captain of the squad to replace Shane Watson.
"The NSP has been impressed with George’s leadership when he stepped in to guide the ODI team in Michael’s absence last summer and leadership of the T20 team over the past two seasons.
"Given George’s experience and credentials, he was viewed as the ideal person for the role.
“The ICC Champions Trophy is another important step in our aim to get back to the number one ranking.
"As the two-time defending champion, the squad has been selected with the aim of winning the tournament, starting against England at Edgbaston on 8 June, while also keeping the 2015 ICC World Cup firmly in mind.
“Mitchell Starc and Clint McKay are recovering well from injury and are meeting targets that should ensure their readiness for the tournament.
"Starc showed his ability with the white ball with two devastating spells in Perth last summer while McKay is Australia’s reigning ODI player of the year.
"Both players are integral to our plans and along with Mitchell Johnson, form the core of the limited-overs bowling group.
“Mitchell Marsh made his ODI debut in October 2011 and is a talented batting all-rounder. Mitchell’s domestic season was interrupted by injury but there’s no doubt he has the potential to perform strongly at international level.
“Nathan Coulter-Nile is an emerging cricketer as a fast-medium bowler and explosive lower-order batsman.
"He is also one of the finest fieldsmen in Australian cricket and the energy he brings to his game is impressive.
"While Nathan has played a T20 International for Australia, we are looking forward to seeing him take his very good domestic limited overs form onto the world stage.
“Adam Voges secured the final batting position with his brilliant 112 not out against West Indies in the fifth ODI at the MCG in February. Adam and James Faulkner both made the most of their opportunities late in the summer and have been rewarded accordingly.
“As discussed last week at the Ashes squad announcement, James Pattinson and Ryan Harris haven’t been selected but will play for Australia A to prepare them for the Ashes.
"Some who were close to selection included Steve Smith, Aaron Finch and Moises Henriques. However Steve and Moises will play for Australia A while the ICC Champions Trophy is being played.
"Ben Cutting acquitted himself well when he had opportunities last season, but he was not considered for selection due to injury concerns.
"Shaun Marsh had a very good BBL season and the NSP looks forward to him displaying his undoubted ability with consistent performances in all three formats in the near future.
“Over the next month, available players from the Ashes, Champions Trophy and Australia A squads will use the Cricket Australia Centre of Excellence (COE) for critical preparation prior to these series or tournaments.
"The COE, with its excellent facilities, expert coaching resources and warmer weather at a time of year when most states are starting to head into a winter climate, provides the perfect surroundings to ready the players for an important period as we attempt to defend the Champions Trophy and regain the Ashes.
"We also have quite a number of the Champions Trophy squad already getting match practice in the IPL or elsewhere overseas,” Inverarity said.
Click here for 2013 ICC Champions Trophy fixtures
1998 South Africa
2000 New Zealand
2002 India/Sri Lanka
2004 West Indies
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 01 May, 2013 1:30PM AEST