Australia Squad for Pakistan and Sri Lanka T20Is: Hits and misses
Australia will host back-to-back three-game T20I series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, with the six games being played in just 13 days.
Steve Smith and David Warner return to Australia's T20I squad post their one-year ban.
Ben McDermott has also been named in the 14-man squad for the T20I series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Marcus Stoinis, D'arcy Short, Peter Handscomb and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who were all part of the last Australian T20I squad, have been dropped.
The six-match string will begin with Sri Lanka, with games scheduled on October 27, 30 and November 1 in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne respectively. Pakistan will follow on tour with T20Is on November 3, 5 and 8 in Sydney, Canberra and Perth respectively. These will be succeeded by two Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide.
Let's have a look at the hits and misses of the Australia squad for Pakistan and Sri Lanka T20Is:
David Warner joins Aaron Finch back at the top
It feels like the full circle has been completed as David Warner returns to join Aaron Finch at the top of the order. Despite the team trying all sorts of combinations, Finch and Warner have been their most successful pair in white-ball cricket and have an aura of invincibility around them.
"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," Australia's national selector, Trevor Hohns said.
Ben McDermott's inclusion
McDermott has been in good form of late and scored 376 runs for Hobart Hurricanes in the last season of the Big Bash League. It is heartening that domestic and BBL performances are being awarded which will encourage more youngsters to keep putting in the performances.
McDermott is a right-hand batsman who is also a handy keeper and plays for Brisbane in Sheffield Shield cricket. He averages a decent 32.23 in T20s and strikes at over 130.
Pace returns to the Australian T20I fold
There have been times when Australia have gone in with the likes of Jason Behrendorff, Kane Richardson and Marcus Stoinis who are all wily bowlers and can do the job but are not impact players in batting-friendly conditions.
This time, Australia have selected Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Billy Stanlake who have real pace to intimidate the batsmen. Stanlake, in particular, due to his height and awkward angle, is a real slippery customer and can be a handful for batsmen who face him for the first time.
D'Arcy Short and Peter Handscomb hard done
Each of the D'Arcy Short, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Peter Handscomb were part of Australia's T20I squad against India but have had to make way for others this time around. Short was the leading run-scorer in the last two seasons of the Big Bash League and would be hurting.
Likewise, Peter Handscomb delivered on whatever was asked of him on the tour of India, including keeping the wickets but the two have been pipped to the post by Ashton Turner who has recovered from his broken finger.
"There is always unlucky people when it comes to selection, and D'Arcy operates in the area where there just happens to be Smith, Warner and Finch, and it's difficult to squeeze one of those fellows out. D'Arcy obviously is a standby player at this stage," Hohns said after announcing the squad.
Genuine all-rounder amiss
Although Australia have Glenn Maxwell and Ashton Agar in their ranks, they might miss the services of a genuine all-rounder like Marcus Stoinis. Stoinis had a smashing Big Bash season last year where he amassed 533 runs at an amazing average of 53.30 and an impressive strike rate of over 130, to go with with 14 wickets.
However, he could only score 87 runs from 7 innings in the World Cup and also suffered from side injuries. Both these factors have led to his exclusion which might create a void in the team.
Chris Lynn's absence
The fact that power-packed opener Chris Lynn has not been included in in Australia's T20I squad has not come as a surprise. He was not part of Australia's last T20 assignment against India and missed the CPL this year. It did not help that both the leagues he was meant to be playing - the Euro T20 Slam and Afghanistan T20 league - were cancelled.
Australia do have Warner and Finch at the top, but given the six-hitting prowess that Lynn brings to the table, he will be missed. The opener made his disappointment known in no uncertain terms.
"The lack of communication hasn't been great. I kind of saw [being omitted] coming, I'm not disappointed. Through no one's fault, I haven't played any cricket, but a phone call wouldn't hurt. I'm not going anywhere, I will keep trying to score runs and keep knocking on his door," Lynn said after being sidelined from the squad.
He will be a part of the Prime Minister's XI for the practice match against Sri Lanka in Canberra.
Here is Australia's announced T20I squad:
Australia- 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
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