T20 World Cup: Finch, Smith included in Australia's squad
Australia have announced a 15-man squad for the impending T20 World Cup, scheduled to be in Oman and the UAE. Several marquee players return after missing the recent bilateral assignments. Skipper Aaron Finch, who is recovering from knee surgery, returns to the fold, while Steve Smith has also made it to the squad after recovering from an elbow injury. Here are further details.
Besides Finch and Smith, the squad also includes senior players David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Pat Cummins, and Kane Richardson. Mitchell Swepson has been roped in as the third front-line spinner behind Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar. Meanwhile, wicket-keeper Josh Inglis has earned his maiden international call-up. The 26-year-old has replaced Alex Carey, who looked bleak on Australia's recent tours.
Australia's T20 World Cup Squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Pat Cummins (vice-captain), Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Swepson. Reserves: Dan Christian, Daniel Sams, Nathan Ellis.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Finch will take eight to 10 weeks to recover from his knee injury. He recently underwent a knee surgery in order to be fit for the upcoming T20 World Cup. The 34-year-old had pulled out of the Bangladesh tour after sustaining cartilage damage. Meanwhile, Smith, who suffered an elbow injury, has also been recovering.
Inglis earned the coveted spot after performing well in domestic cricket. He amassed 531 runs at an average of 48.27 for Leicestershire at the Vitality Blast. He smashed two centuries, while his strike-rate read 175.82. On the other hand, Carey scored mere 57 runs in eight T20I innings on the previous two tours. Notably, Carey also led Australia in WI in Finch's absence.
Australia have lost their last five bilateral T20I series. They lost to England (1-2), India (1-2), New Zealand (2-3), West Indies (1-4), and Bangladesh (1-4). As per reports, Australia could play two warm-up matches ahead of their opening World Cup clash against South Africa on October 23. Meanwhile, the IPL-bound players will also have the required match practice in the UAE.
Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, and Daniel Sams are the three reserve players. Notably, Ellis has been backed ahead of Andrew Tye, Riley Meredith, and Jason Behrendorff, as a reserve fast bowler. Ellis recently took a hat-trick on his debut (against Bangladesh).