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Haddin, Symonds named in Oz WC squad

However, Symonds is likely to miss the opening rounds of the world tournament while recovering from a ruptured bicep tendon.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2007 19:12 IST

Captain Ricky Ponting got his way on Tuesday when injured all-rounder Andrew Symonds was included in Australia's 15-man squad for next month's Cricket World Cup in the West Indies.

Symonds is likely to miss the opening rounds of the world tournament while recovering from a ruptured bicep tendon but Ponting pushed strongly for his inclusion, saying Australia will be a better team when Symonds is available.

New South Wales wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin was also included in the Australian squad, partly as cover for veteran Adam Gilchrist who will miss warm-up matches ahead of the tournament to be with his wife, Mel, who is expecting their third child.

Tearaway fast bowler Shaun Tait and all-rounder Shane Watson also won squad places after taking minor roles in this month's limited overs tri series against England and New Zealand.

Tait won the final seam bowling position ahead of Stuart Clark in what chairman of selectors Anrew Hilditch described as "an attacking move" attuned to the West Indies' predicted slow pitches.

Watson, who played in the tri series finals after missing the preliminary rounds with injury, held out Cameron White for hi squad lace. Hilditch said Clark and White were "desperately unlucky" to miss out on selection.

Haddin's selection added flexibility to the squad, Hilditch said, as he could play as a wicketkeeper to rest Gilchrist or as a specialist batsman.

"We are still the best side in the world in our view."

After warmup matches against Zimbabwe on March 6 and England on March 9, Australia will play Pool A matches against Scotland on March 14, the Netherlands on March 18 and South Africa on March 24.

Australian squad: Ricky Ponting, captain, Adam Gilchrist, Nathan Bracken, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Andrew Symonds, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson.

First Published: Feb 13, 2007 13:06 IST