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Series won, Clarke takes time out


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Skipper Michael Clarke will be rested from the Australian side for Friday’s fourth One Day International against England in Perth, with George Bailey to captain the side.

It’s a bitter-sweet result for Bailey, dropped from the Test side for Australia’s tour of South Africa next month.

Selectors on Monday announced a 15-man squad for the tour, including uncapped Tasmanian Alex Doolan and Shaun Marsh, who returns to the Test set-up after almost two years.

Pace bowlers James Pattinson and Jackson Bird have also been added to the touring party, ahead of Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Earlier speculation that South Australia’s Phil Hughes may have forced his way back into the side amounted to nought; the full squad is;  Michael Clarke (c), Brad Haddin (vc), Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, James Faulkner, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, David Warner, Shane Watson.

The selection of Baily as captain of the one day side and captain of the T20 national side suggests selectors see his future in the one day game.

His Test record will most likely always read as “played five, won five, reclaimed the Ashes”.

Chairman of selectors John Inverarity said the decision to axe Bailey was a difficult one.

“This was a difficult decision, but on this occasion we felt Alex and Shaun have games that are well suited to facing South Africa in South Africa,” Inverarity said in a Cricket Australia statement.

“We consider that both are strong players of pace bowling which is important given the strength of South Africa’s attack.

“Alex was on standby for the recent fifth Test in Sydney and scored a most impressive 165 not out against South Africa for Australia A last season.

“Shaun is a talented batsman who is striking the ball very well at the moment. He has the technique and potential to do well.

“On this occasion these two batsmen were preferred to Phillip Hughes who we feel is best suited to a top order position. Phillip remains a highly regarded batsman whose time will come.”

For the next one day match against England in Perth on Friday, the selectors have also decided to rest Shane Watson, Brad Haddin and David Warner as well as captain Clarke.

While Clarke and Watson will return for the final game of the series on January 26, Haddin and Warner will also miss the Adelaide fixture.

On the back of their five-nil Ashes victory, Clarke’s side claimed the one-day series against England at the SCG on Sunday with a seven-wicket win that handed them an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Clarke revelled in another triumph for Australia after the game, but admitted to feeling tired after an arduous summer and said he was looking forward to a few days’ rest.

“I’m looking forward to spending a few days with my beautiful wife and not thinking about cricket at all,” Clarke said.

“It’s been a long, tough summer and I’m looking forward to a break.

“It will be good to have four or five days away from cricket.”

Bailey, who filled in as skipper in Australia’s one-day side in India last year in Clarke’s absence, takes on the captaincy in Perth as he returns from a groin injury that ruled him out of the SCG clash.

“He is in good hands, he has a few days to recover and he should be fine,” Clarke said.

“He has shown he is a good leader. He is experienced and I know they can go to Perth and have success.”

Mitch Johnson has been appointed vice-captain for Perth.

Steve Smith has been named in the squad and is likely to replace Clarke in the middle order, while Matt Wade will replace Haddin.

National Selector John Inverarity said two players were likely to be released from the squad when Clarke and Watson returned after the Perth match.

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