Australia all-rounder John Hastings was “shocked” to miss out on selection for the one-day international series against New Zealand, having topped the world list of wicket-takers for the year.
The 31-year-old seamer leads the standings with 29 wickets from 15 ODI matches at an average of 24.13, level with England’s Adil Rashid, who has the same haul but from 17 games.
Hastings missed the West Indies tour with an ankle injury in May but returned to the side for a strong series in Sri Lanka and was Australia’s joint top wicket-taker with Scott Boland for the ill-fated 5-0 whitewash in South Africa.
“I was very disappointed. I was initially pretty shocked to be honest,” Hastings said of his omission.
“I thought my performances over the last 12 months have stacked up and in my mind I’m 100 percent fit.
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“I know I haven’t played a lot of cricket but five-and-a-half months without playing cricket and going over to Sri Lanka without playing a game (and performing well), it didn’t really stack up for me.
“I’ve taken the most one-day international wickets in the world this year so obviously I’m disappointed not to be there.
“But if they think those guys can do a better job, that’s fair enough. I’ve just got to go back and try and prove people wrong again.”
Selectors were criticised for sending an under-strength squad to South Africa, shorn of leading pacemen Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, but the bowlers have been reinstated for the three-match New Zealand series starting next week.
Hastings, who took a career best haul of 6-45 against Sri Lanka in Dambulla in August, may have reason to feel aggrieved, with four all-rounders selected in the squad of 14.
Fast bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh did little with bat and ball in South Africa but has been retained, while mercurial talent Glenn Maxwell has been recalled, seemingly more on reputation than form.
James Faulkner was included after a calf strain ruled him out of South Africa, while selectors sprung a surprise by picking uncapped Western Australia all-rounder Hilton Cartwright.
Australia’s selectors have been under scrutiny for a number of gaffes this season and chairman Rod Marsh promptly resigned after the Test side were thrashed in the second match in Hobart, which gave South Africa an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
Australia play New Zealand in Sydney on December 4, with matches in Canberra (6th) and Melbourne (9th) to follow.