Clarke claims Border Medal
Australia captain Michael Clarke has won the Allan Border Medal for the second year in succession and fourth occasion overall.
Clarke was also named as Australia’s Test player of the year once again, while Clint McKay and Shane Watson claimed the respective one-day international and Twenty20 awards.
Prior to his success 12 months ago, Clarke also picked up the Border Medal in 2005 and 2009, years in which England went on to win home Ashes series. Alastair Cook’s men will hope history repeats itself this summer.
Australia, meanwhile, have added Watson to their squad for the third and fourth one-day internationals with West Indies following the all-rounder’s recovery from a calf injury.
The 30-year-old has been named as a replacement for Usman Khawaja and will open the batting in the absence of David Warner, who injured his left thumb in training last week.
National selector John Inverarity talked up the return of Watson and also explained staggered travel plans for the Test tour of India.
"Shane Watson comes back into the squad for the Commonwealth Bank Series against West Indies as an opening batsman. Shane has recovered from his injury and we look forward to seeing him get back to his best," Inverarity said.
"The players in the 17-man squad will travel to India in three separate groups in an effort to find the best balance for players.
"It is planned to have Jackson Bird, Ed Cowan, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Steve Smith travel to India on February 7.
"Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade will depart on February 9, as will David Warner who is unavailable for the remainder of the Australian international summer as he recovers from his thumb injury.
"The remaining six players - Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Xavier Doherty, Mitchell Starc, Phillip Hughes, Mitchell Johnson - will travel on February 11 at the conclusion of the Commonwealth Bank Series against West Indies. These plans are subject to minor alterations."
Young bowler Ashton Agar, who has impressed with his performances for Western Australia, will also travel to India to take part in the warm-up game in a move Inverarity compared to Mitchell Starc's time in the West Indies last year.
"Ashton Agar, the 19-year-old slow left-arm spin bowler who has shown great promise since he debuted for West Australia in the Bupa Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales on January 24-27, will be in India for the period 9-16 February and will play in the first warm-up fixture," Inverarity said.
"He will provide ideal practice for the batsmen in the lead-up to that first Test in Chennai. Last year we took Mitchell Starc to the West Indies to further his development and this is a similar opportunity for Ashton."
The third ODI versus the Windies is on Wednesday in Canberra, the fourth on Friday at Sydney and the fifth and final on Sunday in Melbourne.
Australia squad for third and fourth ODIs with West Indies: Michael Clarke (captain), George Bailey, Ben Cutting, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), Shane Watson.