Ricky Ponting dropped, Shane Watson returns to ODI squad

Cricket Australia today announced a 13-man squad for the next two matches, against Sri Lanka in Hobart on Friday 24 February and against India in Sydney on Sunday 26 February.

Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, has been dropped from the ODI squad for the remainder of the triangular series following a poor run of form in the first five matches.

“Ricky Ponting has been dropped from the squad due to his lack of form in the five Commonwealth Bank Series matches to date in this series,” said National Selector John Inverarity.

“The team will not seem the same without him, but moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport.

“Ricky’s record speaks for itself. He is one of the truly great performers in the history of Australian ODI cricket, with his reputation enhanced further by him captaining Australia to two World Cup victories.

“Ricky’s contribution goes far beyond his batting statistics and his brilliant fielding. The example he sets in every respect and his extraordinarily positive influence in the dressing-room is acknowledged by all.

“He is held in the highest possible regard by his team-mates and there is no higher accolade than this.

“Ricky being prepared to take over the captaincy in Michael Clarke’s recent absence for the sake of the team is yet another example of his selfless attitude and team-first focus.”

All-rounder Shane Watson, skipper Michael Clarke and Ryan Harris will make their returns after recovering from injury, while Mitchell Starc has been left out.

“Ryan Harris has been re-included in the squad with Mitchell Starc making way for his return,” said Inverarity.

“Mitchell will benefit greatly from the Tests and the ODIs he has played. His development as a player of the future is most encouraging.

“Shane Watson also comes back into the squad. He is an all-rounder of proven class and the NSP is keen to have him re-join the squad.”

Selectors also confirmed Matthew Wade had overtaken Brad Haddin as the preferred ODI wicket-keeper for the Australian ODI team.

“The NSP made the decision that Matthew Wade is now the preferred ODI wicket-keeper for the Australian ODI team,” said Inverarity.

“The intention at this stage is to have both Matthew and Brad Haddin in the West Indies together for the duration of the tour.”

Australia ODI squad: Michael Clarke (c), Shane Watson (vc), Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

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