SYDNEY- Paceman Josh Hazlewood was named Wednesday in Australia’s initial one-day squad against South Africa in November as selectors look to the 2015 World Cup on home soil.
The lanky 23-year-old, who has played only two ODIs for Australia and has struggled with injuries, has earnt rave early season reviews for New South Wales.
“We are continuing to keep a close eye on players we feel could have a significant role to play in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup and many of these players have been rewarded with selection,” said national selector Rod Marsh.
“At this stage, the squad is only for the first two matches of the series and balances out player preparation for long and short form cricket as we build into a big summer.”
Six pace bowlers are in the 13-man lineup for the two games on the fast and bouncy WACA track.
“Nathan Coulter-Nile has returned from injury after missing the Zimbabwe tour and along with Josh Hazlewood, finished in the top three wicket-takers in the (domestic) Matador Cup,” he said.
Mitch Starc and James Faulkner, who were in the squad that won the ODI series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, have been left out of the initial squad to face South Africa.
Wicket keeper Matthew Wade was called in to replace Brad Haddin who will be rested following the UAE tour.
Marsh also praised the batting lineup.
“It has great balance with the likes of David Warner, Aaron Finch and Shane Watson at the top of the order complemented by players such as Michael Clarke, George Bailey and Steve Smith.”
Before the ODI series, South Africa first play three Twenty20 games against Australia on November 5, 7 and 9 after a warm-up against a Cricket Australia XI on Friday at North Sydney Oval.
Australian squad: Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.
ODI fixtures: Australia v South Africa
Nov 14: Ist ODI Perth
Nov 16: 2nd ODI Perth
Nov 19: 3rd ODI Canberra
Nov 21: 4th ODI Melbourne
Nov 23: 5th ODI Sydney