Australia batsman Mike Hussey and spinner Nathan Hauritz have been ruled out of the World Cup through injury and will be replaced by Callum Ferguson and Jason Krejza, Cricket Australia said on Tuesday.
Captain Ricky Ponting, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and all rounder Steve Smith, however, have recovered sufficiently from injury to depart for India with the 15-man squad on Wednesday.
“Based on the medical advice an application is being made to the ICC to replace both players in the World Cup squad,” chief selector Andrew Hilditch said in a statement.
“(We have) determined that the best strategy to ensure a successful campaign is for Australia to enter the tournament with a fully fit squad of 15 from the first game.”
Australia’s best batsman in the recent Ashes series, Hussey had surgery on the hamstring he ruptured in the first one-dayer against England and was only able to jog for the first time last week.
Hauritz had a miserable summer after being dropped for the Ashes then recalled for the one-dayers only to dislocate his shoulder while fielding.
Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris had better news about the other three players on the injury list, including Ponting who fractured a finger in the Melbourne Test against England.
“Ricky Ponting is going well in his rehabilitation following his finger fracture,” he said. “He is batting regularly and is expected to transition into unrestricted training soon after the team arrives in India.
“Brad Haddin was struck on the knee whilst batting during the seventh ODI against England. During the batting innings the knee became swollen. We expect this to resolve soon after we arrive in India.
“Steve Smith is making very good progress from the groin injury he sustained in the sixth ODI against England.”
Xavier Doherty and batsman Shaun Marsh were not considered as replacements for Hussey and Hauritz because of injury, Hilditch added.
Doherty’s back injury made way for Krejza to make an unlikely one-day international debut in the final match against England in Perth on Sunday, where he took 2-53.
The 28-year-old off-spinner did, however, take 8-215 on his Test debut against India in Nagpur in November 2008.
“Jason toured India with the Australian Test team in 2008 and understands those conditions,” added Hilditch. “We’re certain he’ll be a key member of our squad.”
Ferguson has more experience of one-dayers but was also handed his chance when Marsh injured his hamstring.
“Callum has an excellent record in one-day international cricket and played well in the one-day game against England in Sydney recently,” said Hilditch of the 26-year-old, who has averaged 44 runs over 28 one-dayers.
“We think he’ll play well in sub-continental conditions.”
Australia, who have won the last three World Cups and four in total, will play warm-up matches against India and South Africa in Bangalore before the tournament starts on February 19.
Revised Australia squad - Ricky Ponting (captain), Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Michael Clarke, Callum Ferguson, David Hussey, Cameron White, Tim Paine, Steven Smith, John Hastings, Mitchell Johnson, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Doug Bollinger.
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