Ponting, Watson, Haddin back for Lanka ODI series

Melbourne: Skipper Ricky Ponting and all-rounder Shane Watson returned from a short break along with fit-again wicketkeeper Brad Haddin in the 15-member Australian cricket squad announced today for the ODI series against Sri Lanka next month.

"The selection of this One-day squad marks the start of a very important summer of One-day cricket for the Australian side as it continues its preparation for the ICC Cricket World Cup in the Indian subcontinent," NSP Chairman Andrew Hilditch said in a statement.

"The squad sees the return of Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson after missing the Indian One-day series and also the return of Brad Haddin from injury," he said.

The return of the trio, however, shut the door on the explosive David Warner and Callum Ferguson, who were part of the squad for the just-concluded ODI series against India but did not get a game after two of the three matches were washed out. Australia lost the series 0-1.

"Unfortunately this has meant that both David Warner and Callum Ferguson who were in India with for the One-day series have not been selected. This makes way for the return of several of our key batsmen," Hilditch said.

"It is a pity neither player got an opportunity in India due to the weather, but both players will return to interstate cricket and look to score plenty of runs and press for selection during the summer," he added.

On the bowling front, Mitchell Johnson returns to lead the attack after being given a break.

"We have several key fast bowlers out of the side at present with injury, but this does create a great opportunity for several or our young fast bowlers in Mitchell Starc, John Hastings and Clint McKay to continue to gain experience on the international stage.

PTI

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