Australia name weakened Twenty20 squad for England series

Shane Watson, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin of Australia celebrate as they win the match during day five of Second Ashes Test Match between Australia and England at Adelaide Oval on December 9, 2013
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Australia name a weakened side for their Twenty20 series with England that includes James Muirhead.

Australia have named an under-strength 14-man Twenty20 squad for the three-match series against England that includes leg-spinner James Muirhead.

Muirhead has just two first-class appearances to his name and only four in the shortest format, but recently took three for 52 for a Prime Minister's XI against the Three Lions in a tour match.

He is one of several players who will be given a chance to earn a place in Australia's World Twenty20 squad, which will be named on February 16.

"The ICC World Twenty20 is just around the corner and these and other players will come into contention for our 15-man squad for that tournament," national selector John Inverarity told reporters.

"The NSP (National Selection Panel) is looking to develop spin bowling options for both the ICC World Twenty20 and the 2015 ICC World Cup.

"20-year-old James Muirhead has impressed recently. He is an exciting prospect as an emerging leg-spinner and will be looking to make the most of his opportunity."

David Warner, Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson have all been rested for the three-match series with England, which gets underway next week, having all played a key role in 5-0 Ashes whitewash. The trio will instead fly out to South Africa to prepare for the Test series, which begins on February 12 in Centurion.

Batsman Chris Lynn is the only other uncapped player named in the squad that will be captained by George Bailey, who was omitted from the 15-man Test squad to face South Africa.

Australia squad: G Bailey (captain), A Finch, D Christian, N Coulter-Nile, B Cutting, J Faulkner, J Hazelwood, M Henriques, G Maxwell, J Muirhead, C Lynn, M Starc, M Wade, C White

James Faulkner and Clint McKay of Australia celebrate victory after the second game of the One Day International Series between Australia and England at The Gabba on January 17, 2014
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