Shock omissions from Australia

Many pundits had expected a shake-up of Australian cricket following the Ashes loss, but few could have predicted the nature of the changes made.

The most shocking change of the lot is the dropping of senior batsman Damien Martyn from the test squad. Martyn was Australia’s most consistent batsman in the 2004/05 season, winning the man of the series award in India, scoring twin centuries in Sri Lanka and having strong series at home against Pakistan and away against New Zealand. Martyn struggled in the Ashes series, averaging just 19 with one half-century, but it was expected by most that his strong form before it would spare him the axe. Joining Martyn on the scrap-heap are out of form seamers Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz, while Shane Watson has been added to the 13-man squad, indicating the new move towards youth and the intent to use five bowling options.

In the ODI squad, both Gillespie and Kasprowicz once again find themselves on the sidelines. Matthew Hayden has also been dropped after a disappointing run in England. Hayden was rested extensively during the VB series last year to allow Michael Clarke to open the batting, while Gillespie and Kasprowicz struggled seriously during the NatWest Series. Coming in to the ODI squad are young Queensland all-rounder James Hopes, and New South Wales seamer Nathan Bracken, who has a superlative record in One Day Internationals, but lost his Cricket Australia contract and was subsequently not picked after a poor beginning to his test career.

Test squad: Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Simon Katich, Adam Gilchrist (wk), Shane Watson, Brett Lee, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Shaun Tait, Brad Hodge, Stuart MacGill.

ODI squad: Adam Gilchrist (wk), Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting (capt), Damien Martyn, Simon Katich, Michael Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson, James Hopes, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Nathan Bracken, Shaun Tait.

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