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Steven Smith to lead Australia in World T20

Steven Smith to lead Australia in World T20
Steven Smith (centre) will now lead Australia in all the three formats.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australian Test and One-Day International captain Steven Smith is all set to take over from Aaron Finch as the captain in the shortest form of the game for the upcoming World Twenty20 tournament.

Smith will now lead Australia in all three formats of the game while David Warner was named as the vice-captain of the T20 side as well.

The Australian selectors have also decided to drop wicket-keeper Matthew Wade and have called up Peter Nevill, who is yet to play a limited overs international game for Australia.

Chairman of Australian selectors, Rod Marsh reasoned that they wanted to include the best wicket-keeper in the country and therefore they have selected Nevill to do the job in India.

“We feel our batting depth in this squad is sufficient enough that we can have a specialist wicket-keeper in the squad.

“We want Australia’s best wicketkeeper playing in this tournament and we consider Peter Nevill to be the best in the country right now.” 

Disclosing the rationale behind naming Smith as the captain, Marsh stated that the move was aimed at maintaining continuity across all the three formats.

“Aaron Finch has done a very good job captaining Australia in T20 cricket,” Marsh said.

“He will have benefited enormously from the leadership opportunity and will remain a highly-respected leader within the Australian squad.

“However since he became T20 captain, there has been a broader leadership transition in Test and one-day international cricket with Michael Clarke retiring and Steve Smith assuming the captaincy in Test and one-day cricket.

“We think now is the right time for Steve to lead Australia in all three forms of the game as it offers us important continuity, not only ahead of the World T20, but beyond that tournament as well.”

The selectors have also called up Ashton Agar to the squad along with Usman Khawaja, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa and Nathan Coulter-Nile while Cameron Boyce has been overlooked despite an impressive performance against India.

Shaun Marsh, Shaun Tait, Nathan Lyon, Kane Richardson, Scott Boland, Travis Head and Chris Lynn – all of whom played in the T20I series against India were excluded from the squad for the mega-event.

Warner, Khawaja, Finch and Smith make up the core of the batting order while Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Shane Watson and James Faulkner are the all-rounders in the squad.

Hazlewood will lead the bowling attack alongside John Hastings, Coulter-Nile and Andrew Tye whereas Zampa and Agar will be the specialist spinners. Mitchell Starc who is undergoing a rehabilitation period after undergoing an ankle surgery will miss the tournament.

Coulter-Nile, Finch and Faulkner have all suffered injuries in recent times and the selectors are hoping that the trio can get some match practice before they leave for South Africa to play a T20I series.

“Aaron (Finch), Nathan (Coulter-Nile) and James (Faulkner) are all very important players and we want them with to be a part of this World T20 campaign.

“We are hopeful that they will be able to take part in some form of competitive cricket before leaving for South Africa.

“However, we will be guided by medical advice and an update on their fitness will be provided closer to the time of departure.”

After the conclusion of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand, Australia will depart for South Africa to play three T20Is before heading to India for the World T20.

Australia squad for ICC World T20:

Steve Smith (captain), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Nevill (wkt), Andrew Tye, Shane Watson, Adam Zampa

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