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Australia gamble on Hussey

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Mike Hussey

Mike Hussey is set to recover from hamstring surgery today in time to take part in the World Cup for Australia

Mike Hussey has been included in Australia’s World Cup squad despite being ruled out of the remainder of the Commonwealth Bank Series with a hamstring injury.

The batsman, who joins injured captain Ricky Ponting in the 15-man party, suffered the problem during the first one-day international against England on Sunday and underwent surgery today.

Australia team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris revealed Hussey now faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup, which starts on February 19.

Kountouris said: "Whilst the injury appeared to be minor at the time and soon after the game, scans have since revealed that he has avulsed one of the hamstring tendons from the attachment point at the inner side of his knee. As such, Michael had corrective surgery today.

"The recovery time and availability for the ICC World Cup will be dependent on his progress with the rehabilitation program in the coming weeks.”

The remaining 13 members of the World Cup squad are currently involved in the one-day series versus the Ashes holders, which has six games to go continuing at Hobart on Friday.

The most notable omission was paceman Peter Siddle, who was overlooked in favour of all-rounder John Hastings despite the latter making just two ODI appearances.

Also among those to miss out were veteran batsman Brad Hodge and Xavier Doherty, with fellow spinner Nathan Hauritz preferred to the latter.

Andrew Hilditch, chairman of the National Selection Panel, backed the squad, which contains eight survivors from 2007, to retain their World Cup crown on the sub-continent.

“The NSP has selected a squad we believe is capable of winning a fourth successive ICC Cricket World Cup in sub-continental conditions,” he said.

“As the world’s number one ranked one-day team and as the holders of both the ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy, Australia has been planning for this tournament for some time and we feel this side is well balanced.

“It includes the experience of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Brett Lee, and also some young talent like Steve Smith.

“Shaun Tait, Shane Watson, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin were all also part of the victorious 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup squad that went unbeaten in the Caribbean, so there is plenty of character in this group of Australian cricketers.

“One of the major decisions to be made in this squad was ensuring the balance was right in the squad to provide the best cover for all positions in the event of injury, illness or form issues that may arise.”

Australia squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice-captain), Doug Bollinger, Brad Haddin (wicketkeeper), John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Tim Paine (wicketkeeper), Steve Smith, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson, Cameron White.

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