Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcu Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Jason Behrendorff, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa.
Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon and Usman Khawaja return to the Australia squad for the One-Day Internationals against India as the selectors announced a 14-member side on Friday (January 4). From the side that took on South Africa in the three-match series in October last year, Chris Lynn, D’Arcy Short, Ben McDermott, Travis Head and Ashton Agar have been dropped whereas Nathan Coulter-Nile misses out due to some lower back soreness.
The selectors have also decided to rest the Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood after their heavy workload in the four-Test series. “After a heavy workload in the Indian series to date, it has been decided not to select Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood in this squad to allow them to take rest in upcoming the Test series against Sri Lanka,” chief selector Trevor Hohns said. “Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Peter Siddle and Billy Stanlake fill the fast bowling spots in this squad.
“We have rewarded both Jhye and Jason as they continue to put up strong performances with the white ball. Jason provides us with a left arm option in the absence of Mitchell Starc and is very effective by taking wickets early in the innings.”
Siddle last played an ODI in 2010 and if he happens to feature in any one of the three matches, he’ll also hold the record for the longest break between two ODIs for an Australian player. The record is currently held by Tim Zoehrer who had a break of six years and 282 days. Siddle picked up a three-wicket trail for Adelaide Strikes against Syndey Thunder after his economical two overs against Brisbane Heat.
“It’s wonderful to have Peter back in the squad for the first time since 2010. His white ball cricket has improved considerably the older he has got, and his selection is a great reward for his professionalism and strong leadership qualities,” Hohns said.
“Nathan Lyon comes back into the squad and will join Adam Zampa as our spin options. Nathan is the best off-spin bowler in the world and we’ve noted how successful teams around the world have been using a two-pronged spin attack in the right conditions in white ball cricket, something we are very conscious of heading to the World Cup.”
Australia won just two ODIs last year and the selectors have decided to boost their batting line-up by recalling Mitchell Marsh and Peter Handscomb. While Marsh has been in and out of the side, and last featured in a 50-over international against England last year, Handscomb’s last ODI was in India during their 2017 October tour.
“With a focus on improving our ability to post competitive totals we’ve recalled Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb and Mitch Marsh to the squad,” Hohns pointed out. “Usman is a batsman we know can put vital runs on the board at the top of the order, and Peter is not only a fine player of spin bowling, he’s also a batsman we know can hold an innings together while keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Mitch gives us another all-round option with his ability with both bat and ball.
“Travis Head, Darcy Short and Chris Lynn have been unlucky to miss out. All three have had opportunities to stick their spots, but unfortunately, they have not been as productive as we would have liked in recent times when playing ODI cricket for Australia.”