Injured duo Mitchell Starc and Chris Lynn have been included in Australia’s 15-man squad for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Starc is still nursing the foot injury that he sustained during the second Border-Gavaskar Test in India last month while Lynn is sidelined after aggravating a shoulder injury during an Indian Premier League game earlier this month.
However, the selectors, who announced the squad on Thursday (April 20), are hoping that the duo will recover in time to play in the tournament that begins from June 1 in England.
“Our medical staff will continue to monitor Mitchell and Chris’ recovery from their respective injuries, but we are hopeful they will be fit in time for the team’s departure on May 18,” said selector Trevor Hohns.
John Hastings and James Pattinson have also been named in the squad. The duo recently returned from their long injury layoffs and have been very impressive. Their inclusion means, Australia will have a fiery pace attack consisting of Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and these two.
“Both James and John have made very good returns from injury and are bowling well for their respective teams in the English County competition as well as both contributing well with the bat,” Hohns said.
“When you also add Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins to the fast bowling artillery it becomes a very exciting proposition for Australian cricket,” Hohns added.
One notable absentee from the squad is James Faulkner. The all-rounder, who is currently plying his trade for Gujarat Lions in the Indian Premier League, was the Man of the Match in Australia’s World Cup final triumph in 2015. The selectors have pinned their hopes in in-from all-rounders Marcus Stoinis and Moises Henriques.
“Moises finished off the domestic season very well and has had a great start in the Indian Premier League. We believe Moises’ batting has improved significantly in the past six months and he will provide us with a strong option should he be selected.
“James (Faulkner) has been a consistent performer for the one-day squad for several years, however with players such as Pattinson, Cummins and Hastings coming back to full fitness and the emergence of Marcus Stoinis, James was squeezed out of the squad and is an unlucky omission,” Hohns explained.
In the batting department, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb and George Bailey were overlooked, while Aaron Finch has held his spot despite performing poorly in 50-over format in recent times.
The eight-team tournament will be played in England and Wales between June 1 and 18.The eight teams have been divided in two groups- Group A consisting of England, Australia, Bangladesh and New Zealand while Group B has defending champions India, South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Australia will kick-off their campaign on June 2 against New Zealand.
Australia squad for ICC Champions Trophy:
Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa