Cricket Australia (CA) announced their 15-man squad for 2016 ICC World T20 on Tuesday which will be held in India. Aaron Finch has been omitted from the captaincy charge while Test and ODI captain Steve Smith will be now taking the captaincy charge in T20I for the national team. Yet Finch is included in the squad.
Australia’s national selector Rod Marsh said, “Aaron Finch has done a very good job captaining Australia in T20 cricket. He will have benefited enormously from the leadership opportunity and will remain a highly-respected leader within the Australian squad. However since he became T20 captain, there has been a broader leadership transition in Test and one-day international cricket with Michael Clarke retiring and Steve Smith assuming the captaincy in Test and one-day cricket. We think now is the right time for Steve 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.”
Aaron Finch has been skipper in T20I cricket for Australia from October 2014 to January 2016 (India series).
Some surprise inclusions have been made in this squad. Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar are in the squad as spinner while wicket-keeper Peter Nevill is also in the squad. All three players are yet to play T20I cricket for Australia. On the other hand, spinner Nathan Lyon and Cameron Boyce have not been included in the squad while wicket-keeper Matthew Wade has been excluded from the squad.
Marsh believes that the squad is well balanced. He commented about the squad, “Overall, we believe the squad we have selected is well-balanced and has the experience and talent required to be successful in India and help us win the World T20 title for the first time. We were able to look at a number of players during the Big Bash League and the recent T20 international series against India and have selected the best short-form players available for the conditions we will encounter.”
Marsh also spoke out about the inclusion of Peter Nevill. He said, “We feel our batting depth in this squad is sufficient enough that we can have a specialist wicket-keeper in the squad. We want Australia’s best wicket-keeper playing in this tournament and we consider Peter Nevill to be the best in the country right now.”
The world champion in ODI cricket Australia has never won the ICC World T20. Their best finish in World T20 was as the runner-up in 2010 WT20 at West Indies where they had lost the final match against England. Australia will begin their 2016 WT20 campaign from 18th March.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (captain), Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Peter Nevill, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Aaron Finch, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ashton Agar, Andrew Tye.