Cricket Australia (CA) have revealed their 13-man squad set to face the West Indies in the upcoming three-match One Day International (ODI) series, commencing on February 02 in Melbourne.
Pace trio rested
The world champions have strategically opted to rest their primary pace trio – Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, and Mitchell Starc for the West Indies challenge. This decision aims to manage the workload of the key bowlers ahead of future competitions.
Steve Smith takes the helm
In the absence of regular skipper Cummins, prolific batter Steve Smith has been entrusted with the captaincy role. Smith, known for his leadership skills and batting prowess, will lead the Australian side in the ODI leg against the Caribbeans.
Key omissions and additions
The selectors have chosen to rest all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, while Marcus Stoinis has been dropped from the squad. Further, Travis Head, who earned the Player of the Match title in the World Cup final against India, has been named as Smith’s deputy.
Uncapped fast bowler Lance Morris has received his maiden call-up, positioning himself to potentially make his debut in the upcoming series. Jhye Richardson has also earned a recall to bolster the pace department. Additionally, Nathan Ellis, all-rounder Aaron Hardie, and top-order batter Matthew Short have been included in the squad as well.
“It is a little over 12 months until the Champions Trophy and further opportunities for the likes of Aaron Hardie, Matt Short, Jhye Richardson, and Nathan Ellis will be valuable both to our ongoing improvement as a team and also further their personal experiences in ODI cricket,” said national selector George Bailey in a statement.
“The squad strikes a balance between players continuing to make their mark on international cricket, playing alongside some of our most experienced players with an eye to the future in this format,” added Bailey.
Australia’s ODI squad for West Indies series:
Steve Smith (c), Travis Head (vc), Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Lance Morris, Jhye Richardson, Matt Short, Adam Zampa.