Australia call up Hastings, rest Marsh for second ODI

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Melbourne, Jan 12 (IANS) Victoria seam bowler John Hastings has replaced Mitchell Marsh in Australia’s squad for the second One-Day International (ODI) of the ongoing five-match series against India at the Gabba in Brisbane on Friday, it was announced on Tuesday.

Mitchell will be given the match off ahead of the third encounter of the series, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, according to a Cricket Australia (CA) release.

Explaining the decision, national selector Rod Marsh said: “Mitch is a tremendous asset to Australian cricket and we are conscious of managing his workload and his travel, especially with so much cricket to come during the rest of this summer and beyond.

“By taking this decision we have opted to give him an extra day at home in Perth after match one, before he flies to Melbourne on Thursday to prepare for Sunday’s third match of the series.

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Rod named 30-year-old right-armer Hastings as a “high-quality replacement” for Mitchell.

“In John Hastings we have a high-quality replacement, a player who has been in excellent form for the Melbourne Stars in the ongoing KFC Big Bash League (BBL),” he said.

“John also showed his quality with a match-winning spell of 3-21 in the decisive One-Day International of the series against England in Manchester in September, so we know what he can do if called upon.”

Hastings’ call-up means he will miss the Stars’ match-up against the Brisbane Heat at the MCG on Thursday evening.

Hastings is the Stars’ leading wicket-taker in the KFC BBL with eight wickets, including 4-29 against the Melbourne Renegades on January 2.

He has played in one Test against South Africa in Perth in late 2012 and 13 One-Day Internationals, including two in England in September 2015, as well as three Twenty20 Internationals.

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“At this stage John will be with the squad only for game two but should we suffer any injuries to our bowlers in either Perth or Brisbane then we may look at retaining his services for longer,” Rod said.

If Hastings is only required to be with the Australia squad for one match, he will be released following Friday’s encounter, with the possibility of being available for the Stars’ final group game, against the Perth Scorchers on Saturday.

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