After retaining the prestigious Ashes Urn, Australia’s focus is back on the limited-overs format and more importantly on the upcoming 2020 T20 World Cup at home. Australia welcomed back the senior pair of David Warner and Steve Smith in the T20 set up as they named the 14-member squad for the upcoming T20I series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The major omission from the T20I squad is of all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who has been dropped after a poor performance in the 2019 World Cup. Australia’s chief selector Trevor Hohns termed Smith as a world-class performer across the three formats, while Warner is Australia’s highest run-getter in the shortest format.
"We are delighted to welcome Steve Smith and David Warner back into the Twenty20 International fold. Steve is a world-class batsman in all formats, while Warner is Australia's highest ever T20I runs-scorer. He was also the leading runs-scorer at this year's Indian Premier League with Sunrisers Hyderabad," quoted Trevor Hohns.
"The squad we have selected is quite role-specific and we believe it gives us the flexibility to thrive in all match conditions. It is almost a year to the day until Australia hosts the men's Twenty20 World Cup and we have selected this squad with that in mind. We have looked to put a squad together that we think can take us through to that tournament," he added.
In the bowling contingent, the likes of Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Andrew Tye, and Kane Richardson have been included. Australia have named spinners, Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar in the T20I side. Hohns stated that he believes in the potency and flexibility of their fast bowling group.
"We're also confident in the potency and flexibility of our fast bowling group. Mitchell Starc gives us a left-arm option and has earned a reputation as one of the world's leading quicks at the top of the innings and at the death. Pat Cummins is a world-class right-arm option and has been in superb form of late. Andrew Tye is a wicket-taking proposition, Billy Stanlake has the X-factor and Kane Richardson has been an excellent short-form player for some time now," Hohns mentioned.
"In terms of batsmen, we have selected top and middle-order specialists. The likes of Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner and Carey provide us with excellent options through the middle-order after Finch, Warner and Smith,” the chief selector concluded.
Sri Lanka will be the first team to tour Pakistan for a three-match T20I series starting on October 27. Then Pakistan will visit Australia to play three T20Is and two Test matches. The T20I series between Australia and Pakistan will start with the first match scheduled on November 3.
Australia’s 14-member T20I squad
Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa.