‘Brad’ pack to lead evergreen Australia at T20 World Cup

(Reuters) – Australia have opted for experience over youth in an attempt to win a maiden World Twenty20 title by selecting veterans Brad Hogg, Brad Hodge and Brad Haddin in their 15-man squad for the tournament in Bangladesh next month.

The 43-year-old Hogg played his last test in 2008 but the spin bowler was man of the match in last week’s Big Bash final for the victorious Perth Scorchers and is now set to become the oldest player in the history of international T20 cricket.

Middle-order batsman Hodge, 39, also played his last test six years ago but is rewarded with a call up after celebrating his own career renaissance following years spent on the outer fringes of Australian selection. The notion that the shortest form of cricket is a young man’s game has been further dismissed by the selection of 36-year-old test wicketkeeper Haddin, who replaces Matthew Wade after a sparkling display with the bat in the 5-0 Ashes series win over England.

“We have selected a squad that has plenty of experience playing the Twenty20 format in the sub-continent, which augers well for the challenges of Bangladesh,” chairman of selectors John Inverarity said in a statement yesterday.

“We have a group with good depth in power hitting and a range of bowling options.”

Australia open their campaign against Pakistan in Mirpur on March 23 but will first head to South Africa for a series of warm-up internationals leading into the tournament.

“Brad (Hogg) bowled very well for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League and many batsmen found him difficult to read,” Inverarity added.

“Despite his age, his enthusiasm and fitness are undiminished.

“Brad Hodge has made a great number of Twenty20 runs on the sub-continent and played many match defining innings there.

“He will provide the squad with a great deal of calm experience and knowledge.

“His inclusion is just reward for his outstanding performances in this form of the game over many seasons.”

All-rounder James Faulkner has been picked in anticipation he will recover from knee surgery in time for the tournament, while David Warner, Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson and Haddin all come across from the test squad.

George Bailey will captain the team.

Australia squad: George Bailey (captain), Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Glenn Maxwell, James Muirhead, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White.

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