Maxwell called up as Shane Watson’s replacement ahead of third Test – Cricket News Update
Australia have called up the uncapped batsman Glenn Maxwell in their squad for the New Year’s Test against Sri Lanka, starting at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on January 2, 2013.
Maxwell, the 24-year-old Victoria batsman, has been called up as cover for injured Shane Watson. The veteran Queensland all-rounder has been ruled out of the Sydney Test after suffering from a recurring calf injury during the recently concluded Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka, which the mighty Aussies won by an innings and 201 runs. Watson picked up the injury while bowling on the first day at the MCG earlier this week.
"Shane is out of the Sydney Test and Glenn Maxwell comes into the squad as a replacement for Watto [Watson], being the all-rounder," Australian skipper Michael Clarke told media after his side’s innings win in Melbourne on Friday.
Clarke himself is a doubtful starter for the Sydney Test due to the hamstring injury he had sustained in Hobart. Whilst the Aussie skipper expects he will be fit in time to lead the side in Sydney, CA selectors have retained Islamabad born top-order batsman Usman Khawaja in the 13-man squad for the third and final Test. But Clarke made it clear that Khawaja is in the squad just as cover for him.
"The other person on standby is Usman Khawaja for me once again. I have got a bit of extra time now, winning this game in three days, to give myself every chance to be right for Sydney and I'm really confident I'll be fit for Sydney. But Usman is on standby just in case," added a confident Clarke.
The Australian skipper smashed a dazzling century in the recently concluded Melbourne Test but nursed a problematic hamstring all through the match, and is likely to be rested next week, as the Australians do not want to take any risk ahead of the crucial tour of India.
The uncertainty over Clarke’s fitness and the absence of his deputy Shane Watson, meanwhile, has raised questions as to who will skipper the hosts in case Clarke is ruled out. Veteran middle-order batsman Michael Hussey is the logical replacement at the helm, while the occasional limited-overs vice-captain David Warner is next in line.
Squad: Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, Ed Cowan, Phillip Hughes, Michael Hussey, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Wade (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird