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Martyn, Clarke and Kasprowicz back

Paceman Kasprowicz and batsmen Martyn and Clarke were recalled to Australia's Test squad on Tuesday for the upcoming series in South Africa.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2006 12:57 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Australia on Tuesday recalled three Ashes casualties in Damien Martyn, Michael Clarke and Michael Kasprowicz but snubbed fellow discard Jason Gillespie's push for a ticket to South Africa.

Selectors instead named Shaun Tait in a 14-man Test squad which had no room for batsman Brad Hodge and New South Wales quick Nathan Bracken.

In a team missing pace spearhead Glenn McGrath, who is staying in Australia as his wife undergoes cancer treatment, the selection panel opted for a mixture of Tait's promise and Kasprowicz's experience in attack.

"The decision on the make-up of the fast bowling quartet was not an easy one, given that we are without Glenn McGrath for this series," chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said.

"We wanted a blend of pace, youth, experience and line and length, and believe we have all of these covered with our selection."

Tait, like Gillespie, failed to impress in the Ashes series, but Hohns was full of praise for the 23-year-old who is returning from a shoulder injury.

"He's back bowling at full pace so we're happy that the injury isn't hampering his bowling," Hohns said.

But the South Australian was unable to win over selectors, unlike fellow Ashes discards Martyn, Kasprowicz and Clarke, who was dropped soon after returning from England.

Clarke has hit six half-centuries in 17 one-day internationals since being axed and Hohns said he had worked hard for his recall.

"We're very comfortable with the progress he's made," he said, describing Hodge as "unlucky" to be dropped after failing to impress with the bat at domestic level.

Martyn was widely regarded as an unlucky scapegoat when he was dropped after a poor Ashes performance blotted an exemplary career that includes an average of 47.96 in 61 Tests.

Squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist (vice-captain), Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Michael Kasprowicz, Justin Langer, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Damien Martyn, Andrew Symonds, Shaun Tait, Shane Warne.

First Published: Mar 07, 2006 10:26 IST