Australia name 15-member T20I squad for New Zealand tour; Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins return

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Cricket Australia (CA) have revealed their 15-player squad that will represent Aussies in the upcoming T20 series against New Zealand. The squad includes several key players who were rested during the recent T20I matches against the West Indies in Australia.

Key returns and captaincy

Fast bowler Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, along with batters Travis Head and Steve Smith, are making their return to the T20 side. All-rounder Mitchell Marsh continues as the captain of the team, with a decision on his captaincy for the World Cup likely to be made post the New Zealand series.

Concerns over Matthew Short’s injury

There’s uncertainty surrounding the participation of Matthew Short, who was named in the squad but withdrew from the West Indies series due to a hamstring injury. Aaron Hardie was called in as a replacement but is not part of the squad for the New Zealand tour.

Fast bowling options and standby players

Nathan Ellis has been named as the fourth fast bowler alongside Cummins, Starc, and Josh Hazlewood for the New Zealand series. Despite Ellis recovering from a rib injury, he has been preferred over Jason Behrendorff and Sean Abbott, who are named as standby players for the tour.

Also READ: Irfan Pathan names Team India’s captain for the T20 World Cup 2024

Selector’s insights and World Cup preparation

George Bailey, Chair of selectors, highlighted the significance of these matches in shaping Australia’s squad for the upcoming World Cup. He emphasized the importance of assessing players’ performances, including those in the Indian Premier League (IPL) preceding the World Cup.

“Travis, Pat, Mitchell and Steve rejoin the squad following the series against the West Indies with Jason Behrendorff and Sean Abbott amongst the standby players from those playing the upcoming T20s. The next six games will provide us the opportunity to start shaping what we think our World Cup squad will look like and potential roles within that. We will also fully utilise the opportunity to monitor and watch the performances of the Australian players in the IPL immediately preceding the World Cup,” said Chair of selectors George Bailey in a statement.

Notably, the T20I series between Australia and New Zealand is set to begin on February 21 at Sky Stadium in Wellington.

Australia’s T20I squad to tour New Zealand:

Mitchell Marsh (c), Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

Also READ: England legend Alastair Cook predicts India’s next big star after Virat Kohli

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