Smith appointed T20 captain, too

As expected, Aaron Finch has been axed from Australia's T20I captaincy, and replaced by Test and ODI captain Steven Smith just a month before the start of the World T20.

By OUR BUREAU in Calcutta
  • Published 10.02.16
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Steve Smith

Calcutta: As expected, Aaron Finch has been axed from Australia's T20I captaincy, and replaced by Test and ODI captain Steven Smith just a month before the start of the World T20.

The selectors also dumped wicketkeeper Matthew Wade from the 15-man squad for the mega event to be held in India. Peter Nevill, who has never played a limited-overs international yet, was picked in place of Wade.

Opener Finch, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury, was named captain in September 2014, but led the side only on six occasions as Australia concentrated on other forms of the game. Finch, though, remains in the squad that was announced on Tuesday.

Smith's elevation, thus, makes him captain in all three formats of the game.

"We think now is the right time for Steven to lead Australia in all three forms of the game as it offers us important continuity, not only ahead of the World T20, but beyond that tournament as well," chief selector Rod Marsh said.

"Finch will have benefited enormously from the leadership opportunity and will remain a highly respected leader within the Australian squad."

Wade, who had been Australia's limited-overs wicketkeeper since Brad Haddin's retirement from the short formats following last year's World Cup success, paid the price for his recent patchy form behind the stumps. Nevill had a modest output with the bat during Australia's Big Bash League, but Marsh said the squad had enough batting depth to pick him on his glove work alone.

"We want Australia's best wicketkeeper playing in this tournament and we consider Peter Nevill to be the best in the country right now," he said.

Ashton Agar, who has never played any T20 cricket, was also named in the squad along with another potential debutant in leg-spinner Adam Zampa. The pair complement the off-spin of all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, with Test spinner Nathan Lyon overlooked.

Finch, pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile (sore shoulder) and all-rounder James Faulkner (sore hamstring) have all been named subject to fitness.

THE SQUAD

Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Nevill, Andrew Tye, Shane Watson, Adam Zampa