Called up: James Faulkner. Photo: Pat Scala
TASMANIAN all-rounder James Faulkner has been called into Australia's one-day squad to replace Moises Henriques and is likely to make his one-day debut against the West Indies later this week.
Faulkner joins the Australian squad for the first two one-dayers against the Windies in Perth on Friday and Sunday. The in-form Henriques has been sidelined for the two matches after undergoing minor surgery on a finger injury.
National selector John Inverarity said Faulkner will first play for the Prime Minister's XI against the Windies in Canberra on Tuesday, before joining the Australian squad in Perth. Faulkner has been part of Australia's ODI and Twenty20 squads already this summer, but hasn't added to the solitary Twenty20 cap he collected last year.
The West Indies - Twenty20 world champions - will begin their quest to translate their short-form dominance into the 50-over arena when they take on a Ricky Ponting-led Prime Minister's XI at Manuka Oval. The tourists will gain a valuable hit-out before they face an Australian outfit coming off a 2-2 series draw with Sri Lanka.
Adapting to the extra bounce of Australian pitches shouldn't be a problem for the Windies, with five of their 15-man squad having played in the BBL.
While Chris Gayle didn't set the world on fire with the Sydney Thunder, he's still one of the most dangerous batsmen in the world.
All-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who along with spinner Sunil Narine (both Sydney Sixers), paceman Kemar Roach (Brisbane Heat) and hard-hitting batsman Kieron Pollard (Adelaide Strikers), rounded out the BBL contingent, is confident his team will learn from the domestic Twenty20 competition.
''It gives us an advantage and gives us an insight into how the Aussies think,'' Bravo said. ''We look up to most of them, so it's good to share the same dressing rooms.''
Apart from all-rounder Marlon Samuels, who is still recovering from a facial injury, the Windies are at full strength.
Gayle had a forgettable BBL campaign, scoring just one half century, but returns to the scene of one of his most memorable innings.
He smashed an incredible 146 off just 89 balls against the PM's XI three years ago. ''We all know Chris is one of the best players in the world, you can't hide that, and these conditions suit him,'' Bravo said.
Ponting will lead a side that is light on first-class experience but brimming with talent. Veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and fringe Test batsman Usman Khawaja join promising paceman Gurinder Sandhu, spinner Ashton Turner and Pakistan-born refugee Fawad Ahmed in the line-up.