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Cummins, Starc added to ODI squad; Johnson rested

Johnson rested.jpeg

Sydney, Nov 17 (AP): Pacemen Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc have been recalled to Australia’s squad for the remaining three limited-overs internationals against South Africa, while selectors gave Mitch Johnson a rest and decided against drafting in a batsman to replace injured captain Michael Clarke.

The 21-year-old Cummins returns to the national squad for the first time since June 2012, and Starc is on the comeback from a groin strain.

Johnson, unveiled last week as the 2014 international cricketer of the year, played the first two ODIs in Perth but will take a break ahead of the test series against India starting December 4.

Australia selector Rod Marsh said there was enough batting depth in the squad to cover for Clarke without calling in reinforcements.

George Bailey is standing in as captain for Clarke, who re-injured his left hamstring while batting in the series-opening win and is now in doubt for the test series against India.South Africa won on Sunday to level the ODI series, which now heads to Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.

“We have decided to add two extra pace options … that also gives us the opportunity to ensure Mitchell Johnson is fresh and well prepared ahead of the first test against India,” Marsh said Monday.

“Pat Cummins impressed (us) in his return to Australian duty in the recent T20 Series and Mitch Starc has been in good form.”

Cummins has played one test, five ODIs and 14 T20 internationals for Australia and is considered a potential long-term leader of the attack.

His international career starting promisingly when he took seven wickets on test debut in a series-leveling win in South Africa in 2011 at the age of 18.But the tall, right-arm fast bowler has been sidelined for long periods since then with lower back problems.

Xavier Doherty was drafted in to the squad as the spin specialist, preferred to regular test offspinner Nathan Lyon.

Matthew Wade retained his spot as wicketkeeper in the absence of injured vice-captain Brad Haddin. Squad: George Bailey (captain), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.

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