Australian team is scheduled to tour West Indies and Bangladesh, as part of international commitment but a large chunk of experienced players rolled-out their names from the tentative team squad for various reasons. Australia’s several first-choice options including Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, David Warner, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams and Marcus Stoinis are not included in the final draft of the team squad. The Australian side will also miss former skipper Steven Smith for the tour, the top-order batsman is presently recuperating from an elbow injury.
Cricket Australia on Wednesday unveiled the 18-member squad, the important take from the listing was the comeback of Dan Christian, Ben McDermott, Wes Agar and Ashton Turner in the international arena of cricket. Mitchell Starc, Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques and Mitchell Swepson are back in white-ball action after skipping the New Zealand tour as they were initially inducted for the South Africa tour which was cancelled just a few days ahead of commencement.
Cricket Australia steps ahead to announce the team after organizing a formal team-level intra squad talks, the discussion revealed that several players were impacted by pre-condition of bio-bubble norms and hard quarantine.
"The pandemic is now into its second year and that has meant athletes and staff, particularly those who participate internationally, have spent lengthy periods in bio-secure hubs, where freedom of movement is restricted, and hard quarantine," said Alex Kountouris, Head of Sports Science and Sports Medicine "CA has maintained from the start of the pandemic that we would support players or staff members through the additional demands placed upon them by hubs and quarantine.
"We look forward to a time when hubs and quarantines are things of the past, but for now we will continue to manage the situation as best we can with the wellbeing of our people at the forefront of our decision-making," Kountouris added.
Cricket Australia reveals that Smith was eager to join the squad for two countries oriented tours, however the elbow injury hampered the wish of the top order batsman and he will utilize the time to fully recover from the blow. "Steve Smith was unavailable for selection due to an elbow injury and will now be able to use this time to fully recover ahead of the World Cup and home Ashes Series. Steve was disappointed to miss the tour with the decision made on medical grounds," said National Selector Trevor Hohns who later also added that absence of accomplished players will serve as an offered opportunity to the revival oriented players.
"International tours in the time of Covid-19 undoubtedly present many additional challenges for athletes. They also present opportunities for others and, in this case, the chance to push for selection in the Australian men's T20 World Cup squad later this year and beyond," said Hohns. "This is a great chance for these players to make a case for the World Cup and all are considered very real prospects of making that tournament by performing well across these tours."
Australia will leave for the Caribbean-bound fixture on June 28 to play five T20Is and three ODI against the host from July 9-24. The dates for Bangladesh tour is yet to be finalized, sources indicate that tour will include five T20Is.
Preliminary Australia Squad
Aaron Finch (C), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Riley Meredith, Ben McDermott, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.