Birt, Smith And Harris In Australia T20I Squad
Travis Birt, Ryan Harris and Steven Smith have been named in Australia's 13-man squad for the Twenty20 International against Pakistan in Melbourne on Friday 5th February.
Tasmanian batsman Birt, Queensland fast bowler Harris and New South Wales leg-spinning all-rounder Smith are all uncapped at Twenty20 International level and the side will be captained by Michael Clarke, who has Cameron White as his deputy.
With just five matches for Australia before the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, the selectors are using these matches to look at players in good form.
“The Australian team has five Twenty20 Internationals prior to the World Twenty20 in the West Indies and the NSP (National Selection Panel) has picked this squad with a view to continuing our preparation of the team for this key tournament whilst looking at several new players ahead of the world cup," NSP chairman Andrew Hilditch commented.
“In selecting this squad, the NSP has taken into account the performances of players in international Twenty20 matches, the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash and also the correct balance of the side to be able to implement our match plans and tactics for Twenty20 cricket going into the world cup.
“One this occasion there are significant changes between the one-day and Twenty20 side as we look at several players who could play a key role in our World Twenty20 campaign.
“The NSP has always regarded Twenty20 cricket as a separate form of the game and this selection has highlighted some players who we think can have an impact in Twenty20 cricket such as Dirk Nannes, Shaun Tait, David Warner, Travis Birt and Steve Smith.
“Travis Birt has shown really good white ball form for several seasons now and we have picked him with a view to him playing a specific role in the middle order in the Twenty20 side.
“Steve Smith is obviously an extremely exciting prospect and performed well for NSW in the Champions League Twenty20 and KFC Twenty20 Big Bash and gives us great flexibility with his ability to bowl leg spin, bat and field.
“Ryan Harris also is someone who has been in the plans of the NSP for the World Twenty20. Ryan's chances have been limited by injury but he’s now back to full fitness and playing very well.”
Australia Twenty20 International squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Cameron White (vice-captain), Travis Birt, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, David Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Dirk Nannes, Steven Smith, Shaun Tait, David Warner, Shane Watson
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