David Warner returns after a summer of redemption
CRICKET: All has been forgiven, or so it seems, for big-hitting Australian opener David Warner after he was yesterday named in the 14-man squad for the first three games of this month's five-match ODI series against England.
A rich vein of form at both domestic and international level always helps though.
Warner's run-scoring rampage this summer has been rewarded with a recall to the one-day arena for the first time since he was suspended during the Champions Trophy in England after punching England's Joe Root in a Birmingham pub.
He also missed out on the ODI series that followed England's 3-0 Ashes triumph in August, and the limited overs tour of India last October.
But his sheer weight of runs for NSW and in the Ashes, where he tops the series runs list to-date with 491 at an average of 61, including two centuries, made his selection a formality.
Warner is one of six members of the Ashes-winning team named in the squad for the series that starts at the MCG on January 12.
Michael Clarke, who missed the Indian ODI series because of his sore back, returns to take over the captaincy from George Bailey, who will be Clarke's vice-captain.
Also included is England's tormentor-in-chief, Mitchell Johnson, whose left-arm thunderbolts have claimed 31 scalps in the Ashes to-date, in-form wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin, and all-rounder Shane Watson.
Batsman Shaun Marsh is also back in green and gold having missed the India tour with a hamstring problem.
Victorian paceman James Pattinson is also making a comeback to the international stage for the first Test since a stress fracture of his back ended his Ashes Tour of England after the second Test at Lord's in July.
Pattinson made his return from injury with the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League win over Brisbane Heat on Monday, taking 3-36 from his four overs. He said he couldn't wait to get back playing for Australia.
"It feels like I haven't played for a couple of years now," he said with a laugh.
"Obviously it was disappointing to get injured in England, but I've had a good time off and spent a bit of time at home. It gave me time to reflect and work on some strategies to stay on the park. I'm looking forward to getting back into some competition."
Pattinson said he had been inspired for his comeback by watching Australia demolish England in the Ashes.
ODI squads: Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Shaun Marsh, Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey (vice-capt), Brad Haddin (wk), Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty
England: Alastair Cook (capt), Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Michael Carberry, Steven Finn, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell
Melbourne, January 12
Brisbane, January 17
Sydney, January 19
Perth, January 24
Adelaide, January 26