Veteran Haddin recalled as Australia announce 16-man squad heading to England in bid to win back the Ashes

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has been named as Australia vice-captain for the upcoming Ashes series in England.

The 35-year-old replaces Shane Watson, who stepped down as Michael Clarke's deputy after the troubled tour on India but remains part of the 16-man squad.

Left-arm seamer James Faulkner is the only uncapped player to be named, with Mitchell Johnson missing out.

Chris Rogers, the 35-year-old batsman who has just one Test cap to his name, also makes the squad and seamer Ryan Harris returns.

In good spirits: Australian captain Michael Clarke, center, laughs along with newly appointed vice captain Brad Haddin, left, and fast bowler Peter Siddle

Return the Urn: Michael Clarke (centre), Steve Waugh (left) and Mark Taylor before today's squad unveiling

Key dates

June 26-29: v Somerset

July 2-5: v Worcs

July 10-14: 1st Test, Trent Bridge

July 18-22: 2nd Test, Lord's

July 26-28: v Sussex

August 1-5: 3rd Test, Old Trafford

August 9-13: 4th Test, Durham

August 16-17: v Northants

August 21-25: 5th Test, The Oval

Fawad Ahmed, the Pakistan-born leg-spinner who has not yet received his Australian passport, has not been included, leaving Nathan Lyon as the only spinner in the 16.

Steven Smith, who misses out on a place in the Ashes squad despite some creditable performances in India, is vice-captain of the A side.

Smith is one of five men to drop out from the India squad - along with Johnson, Moises Henriques, Xavier Doherty and Glenn Maxwell - which slipped to a 4-0 series defeat amid high-profile problems with discipline.

Matthew Wade, who has been Australia's first-choice wicketkeeper of late, will also travel to England.

Ahmed also misses out on the 14-man Australia A squad to tour the British Isles ahead of the Ashes, which contains a number of players from the senior squad including Haddin, who will captain the side, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Harris, Jackson Bird and Nathan Lyon.

On Haddin's selection, National selector John Inverarity said: 'We feel it's important to have a senior, seasoned player support Michael at this time.

'When Shane Watson advised of his decision to stand down, the NSP (national selection panel) viewed Brad as the exceptional candidate to step into this leadership void.'

Haddin told Fox News: 'I know if I am playing at the best of my ability I am the number one in my position.

'From that point of view it has been an exciting day: there is nothing more exciting in this game of cricket than being involved in an Ashes campaign.

'We've picked 16 guys now who are going to go over there and we've got one thing in mind which is to come together as a team and win.'

Captain Michael Clarke also extolled Haddin's leadership qualities.

Clarke said: 'It's exciting for Brad to be back in the group, there is no doubt about it. The other selectors on the Cricket Australia board appointed him vice captain after Shane standing down. But I think Brad's role in the group would be no different vice-captain or not - he's always been a leader around the group be it with New South Wales or the Australian team.

Big call: Jackson Bird (left) was surprise inclusion in Australia's 16-man Ashes squad

Have you seen this? Clarke shows squad list to former captains Mark Taylor (right) and Steve Waugh (left)

'He's been through some ups and downs through his life no doubt about it, he's a strong character and he brings a lot of experience to this group.'

Clarke added: 'The most impressive thing about Brad is that he ... continues to put form on the board. His leadership and his experience will play a large part in this group ... the best teams in the world have a good mix of youth and experience and I think this squad of 16 has that mix.

'I'm confident that we have a good group of players that can learn from each other.'

Australia's planning and confidence to regain the Ashes from Alastair Cook's side when the first game begins at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on July 10 suffered a massive dent last month when they were hammered 4-0 in the test series in India.

The result on the sub-continent, however, was merely a manifestation of the loss of experience and world class talent from the side that dominated the game for more than a decade from the early-1990s.

The trickle of retirements from that side, which included greats like Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist, ended with former captain Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey calling time on their international careers over the Australian summer.

That lack of experience was ruthlessly exposed in India last month, a result that forced Clarke to defend the team on Wednesday when asked if it was the weakest Ashes side ever selected.

Leading man: Clarke will carry Australia's hopes in the Ashes

Brave face: Clarke has backed his mix of youth and experience to deliver

'Since I've taken over the captaincy of the Australian cricket team I think I've heard that every tour so this will be no different,' Clarke added.

'I think we will always pay our respects to the English team.

'They are a very strong team, playing in their own back yard they are even stronger so there's no doubt about that but I think with this squad we have the talent, the experience and the youth to go over there and have success.

'Now, our goal playing for Australia every time we walk out onto the field is to win every game you play and this tour will be no different.'

'Matthew Wade is a very good cricketer and remains central to our plans for the future,' Inverarity added.

'Chris Rogers is a hardened first-class cricketer and has been given a deserved opportunity on the back of sustained run-scoring in both Australia and England over many seasons,' said Inverarity.

'James Faulkner has also been given an opportunity after impressing in recent months as an all-rounder. His performance in last month's Bupa Sheffield Shield final was compelling and he has now produced three consistently good seasons with the ball at Shield level for Tasmania.


Eyes on the prize: Brad Haddin has been recalled to the Australia squad to tour England this summer

Revenge: England were convincing 3-1 series winners in the 2010-11 series

'He is a player who is seldom out of the game for long. He takes wickets, forms partnerships and makes valuable runs.

'Ryan Harris has regained fitness and it is great to have such a very highly regarded and well-performed pace bowler back in the mix.'

Inverarity added: 'The tour to India was very demanding and a learning experience for all.

'The result was unacceptable and the players, coaches, support staff and NSP are smarting from those performances and are galvanised to ensure that we play tough, competitive cricket throughout the Ashes.'

The first Ashes Test begins at Trent Bridge on July 10, with two tour matches before that, while Australia A will take on Scotland, Ireland and Gloucestershire, with the first match getting under way in Edinburgh on June 7.

Lawrence Booth, Sportsmail cricket writer and editor of Wisden, gives a run down on the Australian squad heading to England for the Ashes series this summer

AGE: 32
CAPS: 92
VERDICT: World cricket's in-form batsman in 2012, the captain will need to score three hundreds to give Australia a chance.

AGE: 35
CAPS: 44
VERDICT: Ousted by Wade behind the stumps, he's a spiky character who England would rather not have to deal with.

AGE: 26
VERDICT: Seam bowler who is not particularly fast but his ability to swing the ball both ways has proven very successful in domestic cricket.

AGE: 30
CAPS: 17
VERDICT: Steady, cerebral left-handed opener, but unlikely to frighten the England attack.

AGE: 24
CAPS: 24
VERDICT: England have exploited his vulnerability outside off stump in the past - expect more of the same, plus a peppering of short stuff. 

AGE: 26
CAPS: 19
Another left-handed opener, he has the potential to destroy the opposition, but inconsistent at Test level. Jimmy Anderson will fancy swinging the ball into him.

Urn the victory: Former England captain Andrew Strauss led Eng;and to victory in the last series

AGE: 22
VERDICT: A left-arm seamer and hard-hitting batsman, the 22-year-old Faulkner is an outsider for a Test spot – but look out for him in the shorter stuff. 

AGE: 26
VERDICT: Left-handed top order batsman who was one of the four players dropped ahead of the third Test in India following a breach of discipline.

AGE: 31
CAPS: 41
VERDICT: Averaging only 25 since the start of 2011, he needs a big series to prove he was right to quit the vice-captaincy. Could do with bowling too. 

AGE: 25
CAPS: 12
VERDICT: His batting can be punchy, but his glovework is shaky. And he's a place too high at No 6.

AGE: 25
CAPS: 22
VERDICT: Australia's first-choice spinner is tidy but unthreatening, and his confidence was knocked recently when he was dropped in India. 

AGE: 33
CAPS: 12
Fast and hostile, as he showed when England lost at Perth in 2010-11. Only trouble is, he's rarely fit.

Home of cricket: The second Test in the five match series will take place at Lord's in north London

AGE: 35
VERDICT: Another left handed top order batsman whose one and only cap came against India in 2008. Played country cricket so is used to English conditions.

AGE: 22
CAPS: 10
VERDICT: Young, hungry, angry and highly talented. He will be the bowler England's batsmen fear most.

AGE: 28
CAPS: 41
VERDICT: The workhorse of Australia's seam attack, he has improved hugely over the last year. But will he be bowled into the ground?

AGE: 23
VERDICT: Tall left-arm seamer who could be Australia's best chance of keeping Alastair Cook quiet. Can bat a bit too.

Rain on their parade: The Aussies will be hoping they have their own Sprinkler Dance on English soil



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