Australia have pulled apart their one-day batting line-up and given Usman Khawaja a chance to impress ahead of the World Cup with the side having the worst record of all countries in 2018.
Khawaja on Friday was named in Australia’s 14-man squad for this month’s three-match series against India, with Chris Lynn, D’Arcy Short and Travis Head all axed from the side who faced South Africa.
Australia’s trio of quick bowlers have also been rested ahead of the Sri Lankan Test series, but Nathan Lyon will have the chance to push his Cup claims after being named in place of Ashton Agar.
Peter Handscomb is also selected alongside Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh, with Australia’s batsmen likely to be fighting to keep their spots ahead of Steve Smith and David Warner’s anticipated returns for the World Cup in England.
Australia won just two of 13 games in 2018, making their 15.38 per cent win record the lowest of all 18 teams with ODI status, and embarrassingly below the likes of Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong.
“After a disappointing period in ODI cricket, the national selection panel along with team coaches have reviewed our performances across this format and we’ve identified a number of key areas that we feel we need to improve in order to help put this team in the best-possible position to turn this period around,” chief selector Trevor Hohns said.
“With this in mind and the World Cup looming, we’ve selected players we feel provide us with the flexibility to play a variety of roles at different stages of a match.”
“The upcoming three-match series against India and the ODI tours of India and the UAE (against Pakistan) are important windows to put this into practice and to build a squad to help defend our World Cup title.”
Mitch Marsh is also back as vice-captain as a second allrounder alongside Marcus Stoinis, while Glenn Maxwell has kept his spot.
Jhye Richardson will partner beanpole quicks Billy Stanlake and Jason Behrendorff, while Peter Siddle is also back some eight years after his last ODI game.
Hohns said Head, Lynn and Short were unlucky to miss out, but had not seized their opportunities to impress.
“All three have had opportunities to cement their spots but, unfortunately, they have not been as productive as we would have liked in recent times when playing ODI cricket for Australia,” Hohns said.
“Usman is a batsman we know can put vital runs on the board at the top of the order, and Peter (Handscomb) is not only a fine player of spin bowling, he’s also a batsman we know can hold an innings together while keeping the scoreboard ticking over.”
Australia ODI squad:
Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Jason Behrendorff, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa.
Source link : https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/jan/04/selectors-swing-axe-as-australia-names-odi-squad-against-india
Publish date : 2019-01-04 03:20:00