Dan Christian will return from the international cricket wilderness after a 4-year long gap as coach Justin Langer confirmed the all-rounder’s recall as Australia trial a fresh structure to their T20 team. Dan Christian has last played for Australia in 2017.
Australia coach Justin Langer has confirmed that all-rounder Dan Christian is set to make a comeback after the hiatus of four years in the first T20 against the West Indies on Saturday.
Dan Christian Will Add Experience Of Big Bash League: Justin Langer
Australia will play a five-match T20 series against West Indies as the Australia squad comprises mostly youngsters after 7 veteran cricketers pulled out citing fatigue and a hectic schedule. Veteran allrounder Dan Christian is set to return from almost four years in exile, while fellow Sydney Sixers star Josh Philippe will also have a chance to enhance his case for the Twenty20 World Cup selection.
“He’s finally worn me down, ‘Christo’,” Justin Langer told reporters of the 38-year-old, who last played for Australia in 2017.
Justin Langer could hardly contain his excitement about the inclusion of all-rounder Dan Christian, who he said has messaged him constantly recently in the hope of being considered for a national recall in the twilight of a career that has so far yielded nine domestic T20 titles.
“I’ve been in the (head coach) job three years and every time he gets some runs in any game or competition around the world, he texts me and says ‘Coach I’m ready to go, pick me, I’m the best allrounder in Australia’.
“He’s a fantastic bloke, he’s got an amazing set of hands in the field (and) he’s clever with the ball. His experience and we’ve seen throughout the Big Bash and all around the world actually, he hits the ball as cleanly as anyone,” said Langer.
Justin Langer also confirmed that another all-rounder Mitch Marsh has been promoted to bat at 3rd position in the batting lineup while Josh Philippe is expected to bat in the middle order along with Dan Christian.
“Mitch Marsh is going to bat three. We see him as a bit of an enforcer up there, he faces fast bowling as well as anyone around the place. He hits the ball with brutal power and we’re looking forward to giving him a chance at the top of the order,” said the Australian coach.
Justin Langer hinted that Ben McDermott would also be tried in the middle order and suggested back-to-back BBL title-winning captain, Moises Henriques, could return after missing Australia’s most recent T20 tour due to the ultimately-scrapped South African Test series.
Justin Langer: 6 Batsmen And 5 Specialist Bowlers Is A Successful Model
Justin Langer says the Australian camp is now looking for different ways to win games ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021 in the United Arab Emirates. Surfaces in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi are expected to deteriorate considerably in the forthcoming months given the remainder of Indian Premier League 2021 will be played there immediately prior, while the Pakistan Super League was recently held there as well.
Justin Langer indicated Australia will pick only four specialist bowlers in the side, meaning the allrounders selected in the XI will be required to combine to contribute at least four overs.
“The six batsmen and five specialist bowlers – it’s certainly a model I’ve gone with throughout my whole head coaching career, there’s no surprise to anyone with that. And it’s been a very successful model,” said Langer.
“But if you look ahead We might look at this 7-4 model, where you have a couple of all-rounders. Different teams do it differently around the world.”
“Looking ahead also to the World Cup, if we look at where it’s being played – the UAE – there’s going to be an enormous amount of traffic on those wickets, with the IPL, the PSL that has already been – we’re going to play on some pretty worn wickets, especially towards the back end of the World Cup,” he added.
The country’s seven top cricketers including the likes of David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, and Daniel Sams have pulled out from the upcoming West Indies series for varied reasons and also said that they won’t be visiting Bangladesh if that tour is confirmed.
Star batsman Steve Smith was also not included in the squad as he is yet to fully recover from an elbow injury that flared up during the IPL.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
Traveling reserves: Nathan Ellis, Tanveer Sangha.
West Indies: Kieron Pollard (c), Nicholas Pooran (vc), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Kevin Sinclair, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr