David Warner, the flamboyant opener was rested by Australia for the upcoming five-match T20I series against Sri Lanka. Cricket Australia announced a 16-man squad ahead of the home series beginning on February 11. The selection committee will also make a preliminary list of players for the tour of Pakistan, slated to take place in the March-April window.
Travis Head, Moises Henriques, and Jhye Richardson have made a return to the Australian squad. The Australian cricket team has announced the squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against the Sri Lankan side.
David Warner And Mitchell Marsh Rested For T20I Series Against Sri Lanka
Ben McDermott, who enjoyed a fruitful campaign with the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League, is being primed to open the innings in the absence of David Warner. The tournament’s leading run-scorer, despite keeping wickets for his franchise, is expected to be the second-choice wicket-keeper in national colours.
Matthew Wade is expected to continue to keep wickets for the team in the series against Sri Lanka. The veteran might not be part of the squad that tours Pakistan with only a single T20I fixture on the schedule. All-rounder Mitchell Marsh will not play the T20I series against the Sri Lankan side as well. Aaron Finch will continue to lead the Australian side in the five-match series.
The team will tour Pakistan to play three Tests, three ODIs and one T20I from March 3 onwards. The Tests are currently touted to be hosted by Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore respectively. Cricket Australia are currently in negotiations with the Pakistan Cricket Board about the possibility of playing all Tests at one venue to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
The remainder of the Australia bowling attack for the Sri Lanka home series is made up of first-choice names, with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc (who has opted out of the IPL auction), both included alongside white-ball specialists Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa.
David Warner, the Player of the Tournament at the recent 2021 T20I World Cup, and his Australian team-mate Mitchell Marsh, who was the Player of the Match in the final, were rested keeping in mind a hectic international schedule in 2022.
Jhye Richardson Included In Sri Lankan Tour
The management are looking at Jhye Richardson as a long-term prospect at the moment. The right-arm pacer was ruled out of the last three Ashes 2021/22 Tests due to a foot injury following a five-wicket haul in Adelaide. Jhye Richardson was also selected for the Sri Lanka home T20Is as the T20I World Champions deal with a busy calendar, highlighted by overseas assignments.
The 25-year-old is being groomed for the next Ashes campaign in England as well, where Australia have not secured a series since 2001. His ability to swing the ball both ways at a gentle pace could be more than handy with the Duke’s ball. Consequently, he could play within the country as part of the Australia A setup or go on to have a county stint.
Jhye Richardson is included in a T20I squad for the first time since the tour of New Zealand last February. He featured in one Ashes Test, taking a five-wicket haul in Adelaide, before picking up a lower leg injury. He was later confirmed that he would not be considered for the Pakistan tour as his workloads are carefully managed.
Australia is set to tour Pakistan with a full-strength squad as no player has so far expressed any reservation about travelling to the country which did not get to host top-flight international cricket for nearly a decade due to security concerns. Last year, before the 2021 T20I World Cup, New Zealand and England had pulled out of the tour of Pakistan citing security concerns, the Kiwis withdrawing at the eleventh hour.
T20I Squad For Sri Lanka Tour: Aaron Finch (C), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Josh Inglis, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.