Veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has been recalled to Australia’s test squad as Michael Clarke’s deputy to fill a leadership void for the Ashes tour to England.
The 35-ear-old Haddin has played only one test in 15 months since falling behind Matt Wade in the wicket-keeping pecking order, but has been rushed back after Shane Watson quit as vice-captain in the wake of Australia’s disastrous 4-0 test series loss in India.
Cricket Australia has focused on rebuilding since the last Ashes series defeat to England but, with Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey retiring from international cricket late last season, needed to shore up the leadership experience within the 16-man squad announced Wednesday.
Wade was retained in the squad which contained seven specialist batsmen, including 35-year-old Chris Rogers after a five-year absence, Nathan Lyons as the only spin bowler and a strong assembly of pace bowlers including Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Ryan Harris and newcomers Jackson Bird and James Faulkner. Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus missed out.
Watson was the only allrounder selected in the squad and is expected to bowl on the tour.
Australia will play England in 10 consecutive tests, commencing with a five-match series in England starting July 10.
“The best teams I’ve seen in any sports have a good mix of youth and experience,” Clarke said. “I think this squad of 16 players has that mix.
“We have the talent, experience and youth to go over there and have success.”
After dominating the Ashes contests for almost two decades, Australia has lost three of the last four series, including the last two.
Squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Brad Haddin (vice-captain), David Warner, Ed Cowan, Chris Rogers, Phillip Hughes, Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Ryan Harris, Jackson Bird, Nathan Lyon.