Looking ahead to the men’s ICC World Cup next year, Australia has announced a T20 squad with 14 players to face Sri Lanka and Pakistan in six games this year.
Steve Smith, the 2019 Series Actor, returns to his T20 unit after more than three years. While the 30-year-old has good numbers in the test and one-day international cricket, he wants to improve his returns on the T20Is: 431 runs at 21.55 in 30 games.
BREAKING: Australia's T20I squad to take on Sri Lanka and Pakistan:— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) October 8, 2019
Aaron Finch (c)
In addition to Smith, the opener David Warner and the left-wing Pacer Mitchell Starc were included in the squad, while the best-placed batsman Usman Khawaja was omitted. “It’s been almost a year to host the Australian Twenty20 World Cup, and we picked that squad against that backdrop,” said Australian national selector Trevor Hohns on Tuesday, October 8.
“We’ve been trying to put together a squad we believe can lead us to this tournament, and the squad we select is very role-specific, giving us the flexibility to succeed in all conditions.”
Marcus Stoinis, Shaun Marsh, D’Arcy Short, Jhye Richardson, Peter Handscomb, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and Nathan Lyon, who were all part of the T20I series against India, were dropped this year. In the meantime, the fast bowler Jason Behrendorff has opted for spinal surgery, as he repeatedly undergoes a lower back injury.
While many players were left out, impressive local artists such as Billy Stanlake, Ben McDermott and Kane Richardson were brought back into the squad. Stanlake has won five wickets in the Australian one-day trophy this year, including last month against South Australia at 3/38. Richardson was also among the wickets and has so far played six wickets in four games of the competition.
McDermott has meanwhile impressed with the bat for Tasmania and recently defeated an undefeated century in South Australia against Perth.
“In terms of batsmen, we have selected top and middle order specialists, and with Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner, and Carey, we have excellent options for the middle order after Finch, Warner and Smith,” said Hohns.
Australia T20I Squad:
Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa