Melbourne: Injury-prone fast bowler Brett Lee on Monday failed to make a comeback to international cricket after being overlooked by the selectors for Australia’s one-off Twenty20 tie against Sri Lanka.
But wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and pacer Peter Siddle returned to Australia’s squad after injury lay-offs while senior players Mike Hussey and Mitchell Johnson were rested in view of the forthcoming Ashes series.
The 33-year-old Lee recently made a successful return to the New South Wales (NSW) side and even skipper Ricky Ponting had said that he wants to have him and Shaun Tait for next year’s World Cup squad.
However, it was a good news for Siddle who had undergone a lengthy rehabilitation from a back injury. Haddin too had an elbow complaint. But now both will be available for the Twenty20 match in Perth on Sunday.
Haddin’s return meant there was no place available for Tasmanian wicketkeeper Tim Paine, who played in the Test and one-day series in India.
“It’s exciting to see the return of Peter Siddle and Brad Haddin into international cricket. Peter is a key bowler in all forms of the game and has made a return from injury and is now ready to take his place in the Australia Twenty20 squad,” chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said.
“It is unfortunate for Tim Paine, having played so well for Australia recently, to miss out on this squad but Brad has made a very good recovery from his elbow injury and is an established member of our side in all forms of the game,” he added.
Hilditch said the squad assembles some of Australia’s best young talent as they broaden their international experience.
“Players like Steve Smith, Stephen O’Keefe and John Hastings have exciting all-round skills for T20 cricket and it will be great to see them against a very strong Sri Lanka squad.”
Hilditch made it clear that Hussey and Johnson were not considered for the Twenty20 match ahead of the Ashes series squad selection.
“Continuing with the National Selection Panel’s policy of preparing some of our senior Australian players ahead of Ashes squad selection, Mike Hussey and Mitchell Johnson were not considered for this match.
“They will, however be available for selection in Interstate cricket. The Weet-Bix Sheffield Shield match between Western Australia and South Australia begins on October 29.”