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Key Australia trio given break

Australia have rested Mitchell Johnson, David Warner and Shane Watson for the three-match Twenty20 series versus England.

The trio, key members of Australia’s Ashes party, will fly out to South Africa on January 29 - the date of the first Twenty20 at Hobart - to prepare for that Test series, which begins on February 12 in Centurion.

That means George Bailey, dropped from the squad for the five-day rubber versus the Proteas with Shaun Marsh and Alex Doolan included, will lead an inexperienced side featuring leg-spinner James Muirhead.

Mitchell Johnson has been rested for Australia T20 series versus England, along with David Warner and Shane Watson

Muirhead has just two first-class appearances to his name and only four in the shortest format, but recently took 3-52 for a Prime Minister's XI against Alastair Cook's men in a tour match.

Also in the group that will tackle England is uncapped batsman Chris Lynn as Australia assess their options ahead of the World Twenty20.

“The ICC World Twenty20 is just around the corner and these and other players will come into contention for our 15-man squad for that tournament,” said national selector John Inverarity.

“The NSP (National Selection Panel) is looking to develop spin bowling options for both the ICC World Twenty20 and the 2015 ICC World Cup.

“Twenty-year-old James Muirhead has impressed recently. He is an exciting prospect as an emerging leg-spinner and will be looking to make the most of his opportunity.”

Australia, meanwhile, have also made alterations for the final two ODIs, with skipper Michael Clarke and Watson missing the fourth while Brad Haddin and Warner will skip the final two.

Australia squad for Twenty20s versus England: George Bailey (capt), Aaron Finch, Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ben Cutting, James Faulkner, Josh Hazelwood, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, James Muirhead, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Cameron White.

Australia squad for remaining ODIs versus England: Michael Clarke (capt, Adelaide only), George Bailey (capt at Perth), Mitchell Johnson, Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade, Shane Watson (Adelaide only).

Australia Test squad for tour of South Africa: Michael Clarke (capt), Brad Haddin (vice-capt), Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, James Faulkner, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, David Warner, Shane Watson.

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