Oz selectors treating Lanka ODI series like batting audition for India, Ashes Test tour

Last Updated: Jan 06, 2013, 15:32 PM IST

Sydney: Australian selectors have sent a clear message to players that the upcoming one-day international series with Sri Lanka will be treated as batting auditions for the Test team since Big Bash League Twenty20 scheduling is compromising with team’s preparations for the crucial India tour and Ashes series.

The national selectors denied Michael Hussey a farewell tour of the country after he was dumped from the one-day squad that faces Sri Lanka and then the West Indies, the Age reports.

With Hussey heading into international retirement and murmurs that No.4 Shane Watson is yearning for the susceptible Ed Cowan`s Test opening spot, two middle-order Test spots could need filling, it reported.

Batting options Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, David Hussey, George Bailey, Brad Haddin and Steve Smith, as well as incumbent Test No.3 Phil Hughes, have been selected in the 13-man squad for the first two ODIs with one eye on the India tour starting in February and the Ashes tour beyond, the paper said.

National selector John Inverarity said there was no time for Hussey sentimentality with the Test team in such a transitional state.

The Big Bash League has almost eliminated the opportunity to use first-class cricket as preparation for India.

Inverarity said players should snub BBL for being in the ODI squad if they want to be selected for the India tour.

Inverarity said selectors were also mindful of gearing toward the 2015 one-day World Cup. Khawaja and Hughes and T20 batting star Aaron Finch are being given an opportunity to establish themselves in the ODI team with no matches between the end of this summer and June`s Champions Trophy.