Monday, 16 July 2012
After finally gaining confidence in his reconstructed right knee, batsman Callum Ferguson is ready to kick-start his international career following a surprise recall to the Australian one-day side.
Ferguson was among several changes to Australia's one-day and Twenty20 squads for the upcoming series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Cameron White's T20 exile has come to an end just six months after losing the captaincy to George Bailey, while Mike Hussey makes his return to both formats after missing the recent one-day series in England due to the premature birth of his child.
Uncapped spinning all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has also been selected in both squads, while Peter Forrest was axed from the one-day side after posting scores of 3, 0 and 12 in Australia's 4-0 series loss to England.
Ferguson appeared destined for big things on the international arena after making a blazing start to his ODI career.
But his time in the sun was brought to a crashing halt in 2009 when he wrenched his knee while fielding in the Champions Trophy final.
Ferguson has made just five ODI appearances for Australia since the injury, and revealed it took him time to put his knee reconstruction behind him.
But after making significant progress in his agility over the past six months, Ferguson said he was physically and mentally in top shape.
"I'm getting back to possibly my fastest in the field," said Ferguson, who boasts an average of 41.43 from 30 ODIs.
"It was a nice little surprise getting an email and a phone call last night from selector John Inverarity.
"It was a huge surprise having not been a part of the squad for so long.
"At the same time I am absolutely over the moon and can't wait to get started."
All-rounder Shane Watson (calf) and Ben Hilfenhaus have been rested from the ODI team, but both will return for the three Twenty20s.
Maxwell, an off-spinning all-rounder, has impressed since debuting for Victoria during the 2009-10 domestic campaign, with selectors keen to see how he performs on the slow decks in the UAE.
The 23-year-old shot to prominence in 2011 when he cracked the fastest half-century in Australia's domestic one-day history, needing just 19 balls to reach his 50 against Tasmania.
With an eye towards the upcoming T20 World Cup, Australia have selected three spinners against Pakistan, with veteran Brad Hogg joining Maxwell and Xavier Doherty.
White edged out Steve Smith for a spot in the T20 team after displaying good form for IPL side Deccan Chargers and English outfit Northamptonshire.
Paceman Pat Cummins, who is currently battling a side strain, was named in the T20 squad.
The three-match ODI series against Pakistan will start on August 28, with the first T20 to be played on September 5.
One day squad: Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, George Bailey, Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade.
Twenty20 squad: George Bailey (capt), Shane Watson, Dan Christian, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brad Hogg, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Cameron White.