Captain Michael Clarke and fast bowler Pat Cummins have been included in Australia's final XI for tomorrow's blockbuster Cricket World Cup clash against New Zealand at Eden Park. George Bailey makes way for the returning Clarke, while Josh Hazlewood is the man to miss out for his NSW Blues teammate Cummins.
Clarke, 33, has made a full recovery from hamstring surgery he underwent in December.
"Everyone is sick of talking and reading about my injury, my old injury I should say," Clarke said.
"The body feels really good, I have worked really hard."
"The work I've put in has given me a chance to get back out on to the park and be able to play at 100 per cent."
Clarke noted that his meticulous rehabilitation "doesn't guarantee I'm not going to get injured again".
I know I can walk out on to the field tomorrow and go at 100 miles an hour and if I get injured I get injured," he added. "I'm like every other player. I feel like I'm as fit and healthy as I've been in at least five years.
"I'm ready to go."
Hazlewood played in Australia's World Cup opener against England in Melbourne, going for 0-45 from 6.5 overs, but had previously enjoyed a breakout season with the national side. While the visitors have made two changes, the hosts will field the same line-up for the fourth straight match in the tournament.
Source: Cricket Australia
Dropping Bailey seems to be a wrong move by the team's think tank. Bailey led the Aussies successfully throughout the 2014/15 season. It has always been a general trend to drop him and reinstate the injured Clarke every time he gets fit. Dropping Bailey may prove to be a mistake for the Aussies.
No doubt Clarke is a reputed captain and leader, but the Aussies seemed strong and comfortable with Bailey as their leader since the last few months. Dropping him may lead to changes in team dynamics, formation and direction. Only time shall tell how they fare.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (c), Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, George Bailey (12th)
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (c), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliot, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi (wk), Dan Vettori, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Trent Boult
Australia play New Zealand at Auckland on Sat, 28th Feb 2015.