Australia has announced its team under the leadership of Michael Clarke for the only ODI against Ireland, five vs. England and a couple of tour games.
Mitchell Johnson, Steven Smith and Pat Cummins won the confidence of the national selectors as Nathan Lyon, Peter Nevill, Daniel Christian and Peter Forrest have been axed.
Michael Clarke, who has performed excellently ever since he was nominated as the captain, will be leading the 15-man squad. John Inverarity, the national selector was confident that the team will perform well in the forthcoming One Day International series and the changes made in the team will be vital for the national cricket.
Mitchell Johnson was born on November 2, 1981, in Townsville, Queensland, a left arm fast bowler and a left hand batsman. He has played for Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and Mumbai Indians and has done well for all the teams he has represented.
He is a lethal fast bowler and has been doing wonders for the Kangaroos in all versions of the game. The left arm speedster made his debut in ODIs against New Zealand on December, 10, 2005 at Jade Stadium, Christchurch. He has played ODI matches, grabbed 168 wickets at an average of 25.22 runs per wicket with the best of 6-31. The 30-year-old has scored 708 runs averaging 17.70, the best of unbeaten 73 with two fifties.
Johnson suffered a foot injury as a ball hit on his foot while batting in the second Test against South Africa which Australia won by two wickets on November 21, 2011, played at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg. Invererarity commented on his selection by saying,
“He [Johnson], also, is in strong contention for the ICC World Twenty20 and needs to be in the set-up and have some quality competitive cricket leading into this.”
Steven Smith was born on June 2, 1989, in Sydney, an all rounder who is right hand batsman and a leg break bowler. He has played for Australia, New South Wales, Royal Challengers Bangalore and quite a few other domestic teams with great success.
Smith made his debut for Australia in the ODIs vs. West Indies on February 19, 2010 at Melbourne Cricket Ground. He was not required to bat and took a couple of wickets in the match which the home side won comprehensively by 125 runs.
He has played 29 ODIs, scored 343 runs averaging 22.86 with the best of unbeaten 46 and has taken 22 wickets at an average of 34.31, having the best of 3 for 33 runs.
The 22 year-old has performed well in the domestic cricket recently and is exhibiting all round cricket in the ongoing Indian Premier League 2012. Inverarity hailed his qualities and said,
“He [Smith] has come into strong contention for the Australian ICC World Twenty20 squad to be named in August and the national selection panel is keen to have him in the set-up in England as the reserve batsman, noting that his legspinners would provide good variation to our attack.”
Pat Cummins was born on May 8, 1993 in Westmead, Sydney, a right arm fast bowler and a right hand batsman. He is a sensational fast bowler and has represented Australia, New South Wales Second XI and New South Wales.
The 19-year-old suffered a problem in his heel during the second Test against South Africa at Wanderers Stadium in November, 2011, but still clinched 6-79 in the second innings and was declared ‘Player of the match’ on his debut.
The right hand fast bowler has played only four ODIs for Australia and has taken five wickets at an average of 30.00 with the best of 3-28 and there is still a lot to come from him. John Inverarity was excited after Cummins return to fitness and elaborated by saying,
“We are also excited about the return of Pat Cummins and we are looking to ease him back into the team. He will not be expected to play in all of the eight scheduled games.”
Australia’s 15-man team:
Michael Clarke (capt), Shane Watson, George Bailey, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hussey, David Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade (wk), David Warner.
The only ODI against Ireland will be played on June 23, 2012 at Civil Service Cricket Club, Stormont, Belfast. The five match ODI series vs. their arch rivals England will commence on June 29, 2012 at the famous Lord’s, London.