Cricket: Surpise in Australian World Cup squad

Victorian all-rounder John Hastings. Photo / Getty Images
Victorian all-rounder John Hastings. Photo / Getty Images

Victorian allrounder John Hastings is the bolter in the Australian squad which will chase an unprecedented fourth consecutive cricket World Cup.

The 15-man squad is also laden with veterans, with 34-year-old paceman Brett Lee and injured batsman Mike Hussey, 35, included alongside 36-year-old skipper Ricky Ponting.

However there was no space for another veteran, batsman Brad Hodge, or dumped Test spinner Xavier Doherty.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said the squad, which also included bright young talents Steve Smith and Tim Paine, had found the right balance of youth and experience.

"One of the major decisions to be made in this squad was ensuring the balance was right in the squad to provide the best cover for all positions in the event of injury, illness or form issues that may arise," Hilditch said on Tuesday.

"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 ICC cricket World Cup squad that went unbeaten in the Caribbean, so there is plenty of character in this group of Australian cricketers.

"Nathan Hauritz is our preferred spin option and his one-day record in India is excellent.

"He will be an important part of our bid for this fourth World Cup."

Hussey remains under a fitness cloud after suffering a hamstring injury in Sunday night's ODI victory over England.

The tournament will be co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Australian squad:
Ricky Ponting (captain), Michal Clarke (vice captain), Doug Bollinger, Brad Haddin, John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Tim Paine, Steve Smith, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson, Cameron White.

- AAP

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