Ponting returns for Twenty20 clash
Brad Hodge is delighted to be back in the Australian Twenty20 squad but doubtful the selectors will again favour him when they name a team for the limited overs international tri-series to follow.
The 33-year-old Victorian batsman is yet to represent Australia this summer, after hurting his back while putting on his pants in the dressing room minutes before he was to play in last month's Twenty20 clash with New Zealand at the WACA.
His most recent matches for his country were on a lean tour of India last September/October, when he scored 61 runs at an average of 10.16 in seven one-dayers and two in a one-off Twenty20 game.
While uncertain if he will make the cut when the 13-man squad is trimmed by two for Friday's Twenty20 clash with India at the MCG, Hodge was relieved to be in the mix after the bizarre mishap at the WACA.
"I haven't really done anything wrong since that time, so it's nice to be able to be rewarded with another game," Hodge said.
"Hopefully I can get out there this time and get the pants on properly and try to hit a few in the middle."
Hodge said representing Australia at his home ground in front of a crowd expected to be about 90,000 would be a memorable experience.
"It's going to be one of the biggest I've ever played in front of and probably for most of the guys," he said.
"It's close to a sellout crowd, so hopefully we get the same sort of numbers as an AFL grand final, the public come down and get behind it."
But he was more hesitant when asked how he rated his selection chances for the one-day tri-series against India and Sri Lanka, which begins on Sunday, when Australia meet India in Brisbane.
"I hope so, but I don't think ... I'm not sure," he said.
"Maybe, maybe not, we'll have to wait and see."
Hodge said he was not looking at Friday night's match as another chance to audition.
"I guess for me every game that I play (there) is something that I need to prove to selectors and people," Hodge said.
"It's just something that has always fallen on my shoulders every game that I play.
"I don't think that I'll be out there to prove anything, I'll just be out there to try to give 100 per cent and enjoy representing Australia, given the opportunity."
Fellow Victorian David Hussey was also named in the squad and if selected in the XI will play for Australia for the first time.
It would also make he and team regular Mike Hussey the first brothers to represent Australia since Steve and Mark Waugh last played together six years ago.
"He's a good friend of mine, not only my brother, but he's such a fantastic player to watch so I am excited about playing with him," Hussey said in Canberra, where he was playing for the Prime Minister's XI against Sri Lanka.
Queenslander all-rounder Ashley Noffke was also rewarded for his superb form this summer, selected for what could be his second match for Australia, after playing in December's Twenty20 against New Zealand.
Fellow Bulls' all-rounder James Hopes and Tasmanian swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus were called up.
Opener Matthew Hayden is out with ongoing hamstring tightness, left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson will be rested, while quick Shaun Tait was unavailable after announcing this week he was taking an indefinite break because of mental and physical fatigue.