Skipper tips Hussey to miss out on Cup call- up
AUSTRALIA’S World Cup skipper Ricky Ponting expects a pace bowler to be chosen to replace the injured Doug Bollinger, despite speculation Mike Hussey will be recalled.
Veteran batsman Hussey, 35, was controversially overlooked for selection for the six-week tournament on the subcontinent because of hamstring surgery.
But the left-hander returned to action in a Shield game for Western Australia against Queensland in Perth, scoring 19 yesterday.
Australia play a World Cup Group A game against Sri Lanka in Colombo today and Ponting predicts selectors will make an announcement soon afterwards regarding a replacement player.
After beating Zimbabwe and New Zealand and then taking on Sri Lanka, Australia face Kenya and Canada in Bangalore on March 13 and 16 respectively before returning to Colombo to face Pakistan three days later.
Hussey’s selection would add a left-hander to Australia’s top seven batsmen, who are currently all right-handers, but would unbalance the 15-man squad with no back-up quick apart from medium-pacer John Hastings.
Victoria left-arm quick Dirk Nannes is one of the leading candidates to replace Bollinger if selectors go for a ‘‘ like-for-like’’ replacement.
‘‘ There’s probably going to be a chance Mike might come,’’ Ponting said.
‘‘ It will be interesting to see how he gets through that ( four-day Perth) game.
‘‘ I guess probably one of the reasons selectors have waited until after this game is to see how all the fast bowlers who are here are actually getting through their workloads.
‘‘ I probably still expect that it’s more likely to be a bowler than a batter.’’