Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Ben Dunk, Cameron White and Nathan Reardon have all been included in Australia’s Twenty20 squad for the upcoming series against South Africa next month.
This is because players like David Warner, Mitchell Johnson and Glenn Maxwell will not be available due to the fact that the ongoing Test series against Pakistan and the Twenty20 series against South Africa are so close to each other. As a result of this, the national selectors have decided to reward other players who have been excelling in Australia’s domestic one-day tournament.
Dunk has been the best of the lot after he smashed a record-breaking 229 not out for Tasmania in their Matador Cup match against Queensland at the North Sydney Oval.
However, the decision to make Dunk wicketkeeper as well is a strange one, especially since there are many other candidates such as Matthew Wade, Tim Paine, Peter Nevill, Sam Whiteman and Chris Hartley.
“It is a little bit ironic,” Dunk said. “Obviously every coach has to make their opinions on players and he had to form a squad that he thought was going to take Queensland forward. I wasn’t part of those plans and that is OK.
“That’s the way professional sport is. Coaches, I guess, they live and die by their success and they have to make decisions and unfortunately I was on the wrong end of that decision. I think I’m a much better player now than I was then so hopefully he can form a different opinion.
“I was delisted and at the time I felt that I still had a bit to offer as a cricketer and a few things I hadn’t accomplished yet and Tasmania gave me that opportunity. It’s been a pretty long journey, and probably not the one that everyone would like to take, but I guess that makes it all the more rewarding.”
Speaking about the decision to include Dunk, White and Reardon in the Twenty20 squad, national selector Rod Marsh said: “While the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 seems a long time away, the nature of short T20 series at international level means every match between now and then is a great opportunity for players to show what they’re capable of against high quality opposition.
“The squad itself includes a good blend of youth and experience, providing Aaron with multiple options with both bat and ball. We’ve seen some good form in Matador One-Day Cup recently from players such as Cameron White, Nathan Reardon, Ben Dunk and Ben Cutting and they’ve been rewarded for those good performances.
“[The schedule] gives people opportunities, people grab their opportunities and if someone does really well in this three match series we’ll find it hard to leave him out for further T20 matches we play before the World Cup.”
Australia Twenty20 squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Cameron Boyce, Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting, Ben Dunk (wk), James Faulkner (chosen subject to Pakistan Test series selection), Nic Maddinson, Nathan Reardon, Kane Richardson, Shane Watson, Cameron White