After a wretched One Day International run in 2018, Australia have rung in the changes for their first assignment in the World Cup year as they named the squad to face India in the upcoming series.
The return of veterans Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon and Usman Khawaja are the main changes in the 14-man revamped squad for the three-match ODI series to be led by Aaron Finch.
With the title to defend at the World Cup which is less than six months away, the one-day unit has undergone a seismic overhaul from the squad that lost 1-2 to South Africa at the start of the current summer.
Batsmen Travis Head, Chris Lynn, D’Arcy Short and Ben McDermott, and bowlers Nathan Coulter-Nile and Ashton Agar have all been omitted, with the Test trio of Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins ordered to rest, reported cricket.com.au.
Only skipper Finch, vice-captain Alex Carey, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa have survived from the South Africa series.
“Travis Head, Darcy Short and Chris Lynn have been unlucky to miss out. 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,” selection panel chairman Trevor Hohns said in a statement.
“Nathan Coulter-Nile recently experienced some lower back soreness, and on the advice of our medical staff we weren’t prepared to risk selecting Nathan in the side given the demands of the upcoming ODI series.”
34-year-old Siddle made a comeback to the ODI squad for the first time since 2010, while Khawaja and Lyon were also recalled to the team.
Off-spinner Lyon had missed the ODI series against South Africa at home earlier in the season, while Khawaja too is making the ODI squad after almost two years.
Mitchell Marsh and keeper Alex Carey will be the two vice-captains in keeping with Cricket Australia’s new policy after the ball-tampering saga.
The trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, however, have been rested keeping the Test series against Sri Lanka in mind.
Batsmen Travis Head, Darcy Short and Chris Lynn have been left out owing to recent poor form in ODIs, while fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile has been rested owing to lower back issues.
Hohns said the decision to revamp the squad was taken due to the team’s poor show against South Africa and also keeping the World Cup in mind.
“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,” he said.
“The upcoming three-match series against India and the ODI tours of India and the UAE are important windows to put this into practice and to build a squad to help defend our World Cup title.”
The first match is in Sydney on 12 January and the other two matches of the three-ODI series will be played in Adelaide (on 15 January) and Melbourne (18 January).
Australia's worst calendar year record in ODIs
|Year||Matches||Win / Loss / Tie||W/L|
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami