MELBOURNE, Australia – Australia and the West Indies are set to lock horns in five T20Is and three ODIs in July this year. Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, David Warner, Moises Henriques, Alex Carey, and Pat Cummins return to the squad after missing the recent white-ball tour of New Zealand.
Hard-hitting batsman Matthew Wade, Marcus Stoinis, and Mitchell Marsh join D’Arcy Short in the mix for the final batting places. They all add the flexibility of being able to play in the top or middle-order. Highly rated bat Josh Phillipe adds another top-order option with captain Aaron Finch and David Warner and as an additional backup wicketkeeper/batsman to Alex Carey and Matthew Wade.
Experienced all-rounders Stoinis, Moises Henriques, and Marsh are joined by the in-form Maxwell in the preliminary squad. Daniel Sams advised the NSP he was unavailable for selection for the tour of the West Indies on health and wellbeing grounds. CA says it supports Sams’s decision. Pacemen Kane Richardson, Jhye Richardson, and Andrew Tye join Cummins, Hazlewood, and Starc as the primary pace strike weapons. They are joined by gun speedster Riley Meredith and left-armer Jason Behrendorff.
National selector Trevor Hohns said: “This preliminary list gives selectors a solid base from which to choose a final touring party in the coming weeks while allowing players to prepare.”
“The Australian men’s T20 squad has the ability to match it with any team in the world and the competition for places will be fierce, which is exactly what we are looking for. The West Indies men’s team has won two of the six ICC T20 World Cups played, including the most recent tournament in India and 2016, and this series will provide us with excellent preparation ahead of the 2021 edition in October and November.” Australia’s 23-member preliminary squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Tanveer Sangh, D’Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
The West Indies announced the whistle-stop schedule for the Australian men’s team’s first visit to the Caribbean in five years, two weeks ago. It will be just their third overseas tour since the pandemic began.
The Aussies will play eight games in two weeks against the West Indies in St Lucia and Barbados from July 9-24 in what shapes as vital preparation for the T20 World Cup to be played later this year, a Cricket Australia statement said.
The importance of the five T20s against the reigning world champions in that format, all to be played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia, could be heightened for Australia if a mooted tour of Bangladesh does not go ahead amid the subcontinent’s concerns with coronavirus.
The St Lucia ground, which is being used as a COVID vaccination centre for the island, is the venue where 11 years ago this month Mike Hussey smashed an incredible 60 not out from 24 balls in a 2010 T20 World Cup classic against Pakistan, CA said. (Big News Network/ANI)
(Photo credit: Cricket Australia).