May 012013

John Inverarity explains the reasoning behind some of Australia’s Champions Trophy squad selections.

THE Queensland Bulls may have won the Ryobi Cup but have failed to gain a solitary berth in Australia’s Champions Trophy squad.

However there are mitigating circumstances for frontline contender Ben Cutting was not considered due to injury and Ryan Harris was omitted so he could play for Australia A on their tour of England before the Ashes.

Apart from luckless keeper Chris Hartley, who seems destined to be a permanent nowhere man, there can be no major complaints.

The Ryobi Cup success, much like the Brisbane Heat’s title win in the Big Bash and the runner-up finish in the Sheffield Shield final, showcased an outstanding team effort rather than stellar individual performances.

No Bulls fast bowler stood out on the statistics tables and Hartley was the Bulls top runscorer.

George Bailey, not in the Test team but national Twenty20 captain, was named vice-captain of the 15-man squad yesterday who will attempt to win the Champions Trophy for the third time in succession in England in June.

The snubbing of deposed Test keeper Matt Wade from the vice-captaincy further muddies the leadership waters and chairman of selectors John Inverarity admits there was a leadership vacuum behind Michael Clarke.

Inverarity conceded the selectors had no clear picture of who would replace Clarke when his days as Australia captain came to an end.

“It is an open field, so that is a great opportunity for a lot of young players,” Inverarity said at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane yesterday.

“That particular age group need to look at that and the opportunities there. It is a fantastic opportunity.

Mitchell Starc

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc at yesterday’s Champions Trophy squad announcement in Brisbane.

“It is a challenge (for the selectors) – there used to be a lot of Sheffield Shield captains in the national team.”

The Champions Trophy squad has been chosen with a view to the 2015 World Cup in Australia with canny West Australian swing bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile and his Perth teammate Mitchell Marsh sensible inclusions, given their great potential.

Marsh returns after a serious hamstring injury this summer and will jostle with James Faulkner, Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson for the allrounder positions.

“Nathan Coulter-Nile is an emerging cricketer as a fast-medium bowler and explosive lower-order batsman,” Inverarity said.

“He is also one of the finest fieldsmen in Australian cricket and the energy he brings to his game is impressive.

“While Nathan has played a T20 International for Australia, we are looking forward to seeing him take his very good domestic limited overs form on to the world stage.”

Marsh, 21, has had problems with off-field behaviour but his dynamic talent and outgoing personality has stamped him as a future leader.

James Pattinson and Ryan Harris have not been selected but will play for the Australia A side who will be in England before the Ashes.

AUSTRALIA: Michael Clarke (c), George Bailey (vc), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Clint McKay, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.

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