Cricket Australia has named a 23-man preliminary squad for the white-ball tour of the West Indies, which will be taking place in July 2021. It includes a host of stars who missed out on action in New Zealand and also players who participated in the IPL and returned home on May 17.
After the IPL was cut short due to the novel Coronavirus, now the Australian players will be next seen against the West Indies. The Kangaroos will play five T20Is and three ODIs, across St. Lucia and Barbados in July. And on Monday, they named a star-studded 23-man preliminary squad for the white-ball tour. It features most of the players who missed out on the action in New Zealand, a while back, and also players who featured in this year's IPL as they returned home on May 17 after jetting off to Maldives post the cancellation of the cash-rich league.
The squad marks the return of Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, who weren't part of the white-ball series in New Zealand. Alex Carey and Moises Henriques have also returned to the side. Interestingly, four spinners have been picked keeping in mind the slow nature of the Indian wickets, where the T20 World Cup will be staged later this year. Mitch Swepson and Tanveer Sangha are the latest spin additions.
Australia's national selector Trevor Hohns said that both Swepson and Sangha have been in excellent form.
"Mitch Swepson has been in exceptional form across all three forms of the game. His Big Bash performances with the Heat have been superb, as was his bowling for Queensland," Hohns said, reported Cricbuzz.
"Tanveer Sanga was extremely impressive for the Thunder and we regard him very highly. While he didn't play in New Zealand it was a great opportunity for a young bowler to be around the group. Along with the class of Adam and Ashton, we are very fortunate to have four highly capable spinners on this list."
Daniel Sams and Marnus Labuschagne won't be part of the side. While Sams opted out of the series on health and wellbeing grounds, Labuschagne will miss out due to constraints around travel from the UK as he's currently featuring in county cricket.
Trevor Hohns was fully supportive of Marnus and said that the situation was beyond anyone's control or else, he would have been an integral part of the side.
"Anyone who knows Marnus understands he would give absolutely anything to play for Australia and he is deeply upset to miss out due to circumstances beyond anyone's control. We worked through numerous options in conversations with Marnus to find a workable solution but ultimately came to the conclusion it was more practical for him to remain in the UK.
"Had we not been in the middle of a global pandemic Marnus would be on this tour as a well-established member and important part of the one-day side. It's an unfortunate circumstance of the many challenges the world is facing right now. As it stands, Marnus has the opportunity to continue in County Cricket and T20 games with Glamorgan as we head into the World Cup and home summer."
Preliminary squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Kane Richardson, Jhye Richardson, Tanveer Sangha, D'Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.