Australia have named an revitalised and invigorated squad for a trip to the British Isles, which will include five One-Day internationals and a one-off T20i against England and also a 50-over contest against Ireland in Belfast, with seven changes being made.
A new-look side includes the uncapped trio of Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar and Joe Burns, who has impressed for the Australian ‘A’ team, and although the thoroughly deserve their inclusions in the national team, some decisions have been forced on them, due to a number of injuries and retirements. The team typify a team in transition and one that is inexperienced, with them having to start from scratch but there are positive signs that the selectors were daring enough to make such bold decisions.
Chairman of selectors Rod Marsh is optimistic about Burns and he is a bright young talent on the horizon. “He is a very capable young batsman who has experience opening, and we think he will grab his opportunity with the white ball during this series,” said Marsh.
Stoinis was the top-scorer in the domestic Sheffield Shield tournament, with that achievement has sparked excitement about what a bright future he has and the energy he brings to the table.
“Marcus has performed very well in India during the four-day Series and we have always liked that option of the extra all-rounder in our side, so with James Faulkner’s unavailability, this is a great opportunity for Marcus,” Marsh said of the 25-year-old.
Agar is famous for scoring a world-record 98 batting at number 11, two years ago and also the handy spin bowling option he offers.
“Ashton has performed very well with the ball since his return from shoulder surgery,” said Marsh.
“He has played in these conditions over here before and the NSP believes he has a very bright future.”
Steve Smith is the new skipper, with his prominent captaincy credentials and audacious decisions under pressure making him the ideal candidate for the occupation. Smith is the successor to the retired Michael Clarke, who stepped away from the game on the back of a World Cup success in March.
To manage the workloads and keep them exhilarated, Mitchell Johnsen and Josh Hazlewood are rested after tirelessly bowling over after over.
Matthew Wade is recalled to fulfil the unoccupied wicket-keeper position in place of retired Brad Haddin, while Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Pattinson is back to fill the hole in the pace battery.
James Faulkner was not considered for he is still serving a four-month team suspension after he admitted he was involved in a drink-drive incident and was fined £ 10,000 and was suspended from driving for two years.
Also warming up the reserve-benches is Aaron Finch, who has had a forlorn few months since last representing his country five months ago, with injuries curtailing his progress and it is extremely frustrating for every time when he has fully recovered, he has picked up another. He picked up the first injury in his professional career after he ruptured his tendon while playing for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and required surgery on his hamstring after he set off for a single. After returning to Yorkshire, the ball crashed into his rib cage, and after he coughed up blood, he was sent to hospital for scans. Finch then, after he set off to chase a ball in the outfield, fractured his foot.
“The reality is Aaron isn’t fit for selection at this stage and he also hasn’t played as much cricket as we would have liked him to following a couple of serious injuries,” Marsh said.
“He may look to return to Yorkshire, fitness dependent, for a few games at the end of the season as he prepares for the Matador Cup at home in October.”
Cameron Boyce is included in the squad for the shortest format of the game, but there is no place for him in the One-Day team.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), Ashton Agar, George Bailey, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Shane Watson, David Warner, Cameron Boyce (T20I only).