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No Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Marsh in Australia's T20I squad

The selectors want the players to be at their prime fitness for the upcoming home Tests against India
Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc
Telegraph picture

Our Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 08.11.18, 09:25 PM

Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Marsh have not been included in Australia’s 13-man squad for the T20I series against South Africa and India.

Peter Siddle, too, isn’t there in the squad, which reflects the selectors want the four players to prepare and be at their prime fitness for the upcoming home Tests against India by playing red-ball cricket in the domestic Sheffield Shield.

“We know coming off the back of the tour to the UAE, a huge summer at home, and the World Cup and Ashes just around the corner that we have to get the balance right between playing our best T20 team and preparing for the upcoming Test series.

“While I know all four have a desire to be playing cricket for Australia in every format, with a really tough Test series against India coming up, we believe their best preparation is to go back and get some really good cricket under their belts in the Sheffield Shield,” head coach Justin Langer was quoted as saying in a Cricket Australia release on Thursday.

Pacer Jason Behrendorff will take Starc’s place in an attack also featuring Nathan Coulter-Nile and Billy Stanlake, while Marcus Stoinis returns after missing the T20I series against Pakistan in the UAE.

“Jason Behrendorff has also earned a spot in the squad after returning to full fitness. It was exciting to see him bow well in the JLT Cup and in the recent Prime Minister’s XI match, and it gave us more evidence of how devastating he can be with the new ball.

“Tactically, we believe it’s important to have a good left-arm swing bowler at our disposal for the four matches,” Langer said.

About Stoinis, Langer added: “Marcus missed our recent T20 matches in the UAE because he hadn’t resumed bowling. But now he’s back to full fitness and he’ll add great depth to the squad.”

In the build up to the T20Is, Behrendorff, Andrew Tye and Ben McDermott have also been included in the Cricket Australia XI side which will play South Africa in a T20 tour match on November 14 at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

McDermott will captain the CA XI team., which includes Queensland young gun Max Bryant, and experienced Victoria leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed.

Captain Aaron Finch’s team were smashed 3-0 in the T20I series against Pakistan and will be desperate for wins against the Proteas and India to lift the gloom over the nation’s struggles since the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Australia have lost Test series against South Africa and Pakistan too, and suffered defeats in 17 of their last 19 ODIs including the six-wicket thrashing by the Proteas in the series-opening ODI in Perth on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Finch said that disarray within Cricket Australia (CA) has distracted the Australian team and he also urged his players to keep their focus on the field.

'I think at times it (CA disarray) has probably affected guys,' Finch said on the eve of the second ODI versus South Africa at the Adelaide Oval.

The squad

Aaron Finch (captain), Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa

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