Australia announce preliminary squad for 2023 World Cup
Australia have announced a strong preliminary squad set to travel to India for the looming edition of the ODI World Cup in October-November. Pat Cummins & company have also firmed up a robust line-up for the preceding preparatory tour of South Africa, where the five-time world champions will be playing a five-game 50-overs series.
The skipper and leading fast-bowler have also finalised a touring contingent for the three-match World Cup dress rehearsel ODI series against hosts India in late September, with focus on covering all basis prior to the biggest event in the sport's calendar.
The 18-man One-Day party features all the established names, featuring veterans David Warner, Steve Smith, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and the skipper Cummins himself while Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Marsh provide the allround value and depth to the preferred first-choice playing XI.
Alex Carey is the side's incumbent wicketkeeper-batter as is Adam Zampa, the rising wristspinner, in the spin department. Playing backups to them are promising Josh Inglis and Tanveer Sangha, the New South Wales legspinner. Also finding a maiden call-up is Aaron Hardie, the young Western Australia fast-bowling allrounder with Nathan Ellis rounding off the playing contingent for one of the World Cup favourites.
But there was no slot for Marnus Labuschagne in the World Cup travelling party. The sedate right-hander, who has emerged as key to Australia's Test match batting plans, has been dropped from the ODI outfit after proving to be a misfit. Even as he flourishes in the red-ball game, Labuschagne averages a measly 31.37 with a poor strike-rate of 83.20 from his 28 One-Day innings.
There were doubts that Cummins may not be fit to play the ODI series in South Africa or India after injuring his left wrist at the fag end of the Ashes 2023 duties. But chief selector George Bailey confirmed he will be fit in time for the South Africa series and will be preparing for the World Cup via the India series. Maxwell will be the only absentee from the two series as he goes on a family leave during the Proteas trip.
To ensure the big names retain their focus on the 50-overs World Cup prep and still remain on a swift progression route towards the men's T20 World Cup in West Indies & USA next year, the selection committee has named a separate T20I squad for the three-match series in South Africa. Baily confirmed that Marsh has been named Australia's new T20I skipper after proving key to his team's success over the past few seasons, including winning the biannual competition in UAE in 2021.
Smith is the surprising inclusion here as he retains aspirations to flourish in the shortest format after a promising return to BBL last summer but the decision-makers have rested Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, Green and Warner for the South Africa T20Is. The selectors have also called up Spencer Johnson and Matt Short for the series.
Australia ODI Squad: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Australia T20I squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Aaron Hardie, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa