Sydney: Mike Hussey was included in the final 15-man Australia squad for the World Cup announced on Tuesday despite a hamstring injury, while his brother David has earned a first call-up for cricket’s showpiece event.
Australia, who have won four of the nine World Cups including the last three, will use the same squad for the remaining six matches of the ongoing one-day series against England.
“(We have) selected a squad we believe is capable of winning a fourth successive World Cup in sub-continental conditions,” said chief selector Andrew Hilditch.
“It includes the experience of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Brett Lee, and also some young talent like Steve Smith.
“Shaun Tait, Shane Watson, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin were all also part of the victorious 2007 squad that went unbeaten in the Caribbean, so there is plenty of character in this group of Australian cricketers.”
Mike Hussey, Australia’s best batsman in an otherwise disappointing Ashes series, injured a hamstring in the first one-day international against England on Sunday.
A decision on treatment for the injury, described as “significant” in a team statement, will be made on Tuesday.
Leg spinner Nathan Hauritz has been preferred to left-armer Xavier Doherty as the specialist spinner with David Hussey and Steve Smith adding extra options.
Experienced campaigners Brett Lee and Shaun Tait have been joined in the pace bowling unit by Doug Bollinger with Peter Siddle missing out.
“Nathan Hauritz is our preferred spin option and his one-day record in India is excellent,” said Hilditch.
“He will be an important part of our bid for this fourth World Cup. Doug Bollinger has also been a strong performer for us in one-day cricket in India in recent times and we expect him to have a big impact on the tournament. “
Power batsman David Hussey had not played a one day international since 2009 when he was included in the side for the first match against England, which Australia won by six wickets.
The 33-year-old did not get a chance to bat, however, as Shane watson guided the Australians to victory with an unbeaten 161.
“David Hussey has been selected on the back of years of excellent interstate performances in all forms of the game and we feel he will play a crucial role for us in sub-continental conditions,” Hilditch added.
The World Cup being co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February 19 to April 2.
Australia have been drawn in Group A for the opening stage along with Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Canada and Pakistan.
Squad - Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke, Doug Bollinger, Brad Haddin, John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Tim Paine, Steve Smith, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson, Cameron White.