SYDNEY: Australia on Monday named a powerful 17-man squad for the three-match T20I series against India this month, with an eye to the upcoming World T20.
However, Test captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner will play only in the opening match in Adelaide on January 26 before sitting out the other games to prepare for the first ODI against New Zealand in Auckland on February 3.
“Our choice of 17 for the T20Is gives us a chance to look at some options ahead of the ICC World T20 in India,” said national selector Rod Marsh.
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The tournament starts March 8 with the April 3 final in Kolkata.
Australia have opted for experience and form for the India series, picking the stars of the Big Bash League (BBL) with big-hitting Aaron Finch as captain.
“Shane Watson has earned his recall to Australian colours through a combination of his experience, the all-round package he offers and the fact he is bang in form at the moment,” said Marsh.
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“Shaun Tait returns on the basis that he is the quickest bowler going around in Australia at the moment and he offers us that explosive option if we choose to use it.
“Chris Lynn, Travis Head and Andrew Tye have made irresistible cases for inclusion off the back of individual excellence in the BBL,” added Marsh. “In terms of leg-spin, Cameron Boyce has once again impressed in domestic action and deserves his spot.”
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The selectors said they regretted not being able to find places for George Bailey and Mitchell Marsh but noted that the door remains open to the World T20 squad.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2016.
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