Steven Smith to lead as Australia name new-look limited overs squad
Michael Clarke's retirement following the 2015 World Cup means that Smith takes up the skipper's role in the 15-man squad that includes plenty of fresh faces from the side that won the showpiece event.
Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar and Joe Burns are the three uncapped players in the squad as the Australian selectors look towards the future.
All three players are coming off the back of strong performances for the ‘A’ side during the tour of India recently while also having had excellent domestic seasons.
The notable absentee in the squad is all-rounder James Faulkner as the selectors chose not to consider him after he was convicted in England last month for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Chairman of Selectors Rod Marsh is happy with the fresh blood infused into the squad and felt that the side has a good mix of youth and experience.
“The squad we have selected has a few fresh faces in it as well as some experienced players that will provide us with the right balance,’’ said Marsh.
Steven Smith (capt), Ashton Agar, George Bailey, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Shane Watson, David Warner, Cameron Boyce (T20I only)
“Joe has impressed us immensely over in India with Australia A.
"He is a very capable young batsman who has experience opening, and we think he will grab his opportunity with the white ball during this Series.
“Marcus has performed very well in India during the four-day Series and we have always liked that option of the extra all-rounder in our side, so with James Faulkner’s unavailability, this is a great opportunity for Marcus.”
Opening batsman Aaron Finch, who also leads the Australian Twenty20 side, is another big player to miss out after not showing satisfactory progress from the foot fracture suffered during county stint for Yorkshire last month.
The injury, which was Finch's second major one in recent months, is taking longer than expected to heal, and the Australian management is in no hurry to rush the aggressive batsman back to international cricket.
“The reality is Aaron isn’t fit for selection at this stage and he also hasn’t played as much cricket as we would have liked him to following a couple of serious injuries,’’ Marsh said.
“He will return to Yorkshire, fitness dependent, for a few games of four-day cricket at the end of the season as he prepares for the Australian summer.”
Leg-spinner Cameron Boyce has earned a call-up to the T20 squad while Matthew Wade is set to take up the gloves for the shorter formats after the retirement of Brad Haddin.
Pacers James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile are the other new additions to the squad that played the World Cup as the selectors decided rest Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood.
Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc, who was the player of the tournament in the World Cup, will lead the pace attack.
“After Test matches both here and in the West Indies, we have opted to give both of those fast bowlers the opportunity to have a pre-season build-up in the lead-up to what will be another busy Australian season.”
Australia will play a solitary T20I against England followed by a one-off ODI against Ireland before locking horns with their Ashes rivals again for a five-match ODI series.
© Cricket World 2015