Handscomb, Hastings called to Australia ODI squad

London, Sep 7 (IANS) Wicketkeeper-batsman Peter Handscomb and fast bowler and all-rounder John Hastings have been called to the Australia squad for the remainder of the One-Day International series against England, Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Monday.

“The Victoria duo have been drafted in to cover for injuries suffered by Shane Watson and Nathan Coulter-Nile,” CA said in a statement.

Apart from them, Aaron Finch was called up on Saturday following the fractured left thumb suffered by David Warner during Australia’s 64-run win against England at Lord’s, a result that gives the side a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Watson pulled up with a strain to his right calf during that match at Lord’s while Coulter-Nile suffered a strain to his right hamstring during the latter stages of the same match. Both have been ruled out for the remainder of the series.

Handscomb, 24, has been playing county cricket for Gloucestershire during the northern summer and also toured India with Australia A earlier this year, while Hastings, 29, has spent the off-season playing county cricket for Durham.

Handscomb is yet to feature at the senior international level while Hastings has played one Test — against South Africa in Perth in November/December 2012 — as well as 11 ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals.

Hastings is the second highest wicket-taker in List A cricket in the county season with 18 victims from eight matches.

Finch, 28, meanwhile, has been playing county cricket for Yorkshire after recovering from a foot injury. Earlier this year he was part of the Australia squad that lifted the ICC Cricket World Cup and his contribution included 135 in the side’s opening match of the tournament, against England.

The trio linked up with the Australia squad on Sunday night in Manchester.

“We’re disappointed to lose players of the calibre of David Warner, Shane Watson and Nathan Coulter-Nile but we have quality replacements on hand in Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb and John Hastings,” head coach Darren Lehmann said in a statement.

“We looked at all options including the possibility of flying in cover from Australia but the fact all three of the players we have drafted in are already in England means they can join us at short notice, be acclimatised to conditions and be available for selection immediately, if required.”

Hastings said: “It’s a little bit of a surprise as I haven’t played for Australia since 2012 but I never gave up hope and thought that if I kept on doing the right things then I would have a chance. I’ve been lucky enough to have done fairly well for Durham and I’m very excited.

“In the past when I’ve had the opportunity I’ve not taken it with both hands and so to get another opportunity is great.”

Handscomb said: “It’s a big shock and I definitely didn’t see it coming but I’m thrilled to get the call.”

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