Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia spinner Ashton Agar is set to make his international comeback for the first time since his memorable performance during the 2013 Ashes series as he was included in the Baggy Greens’ ODI squad.
Agar, who has not represented Australia in an ODI, was picked ahead of regular spinner Nathan Lyon, while Joe Burns and Marcus Stoinis are both set to make their ODI debuts as well. In addition to them, James Pattinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Matthew Wade and George Bailey have all been drafted into the squad, which will be led by Steven Smith.
All-rounder James Faulkner was left out of the side following his four-match suspension for a drink driving offence, for which he received a two-year driving ban and a £10,000 fine.
“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,” selection chairman Rod Marsh said. “Ashton has performed very well with the ball since his return from shoulder surgery including taking five wickets in the recent Australia A game in India. He has played in these conditions over here before and the National Selection Panel believes he has a very bright future.
“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 allrounder in our side, so with James Faulkner’s unavailability, this is a great opportunity for Marcus.”
The pace duo of Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood were not included in the squad either due to their heavy workloads as of late.
“After Test matches both here and in the West Indies,” Marsh said, “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 squad: Steven Smith (capt), Ashton Agar, George Bailey, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Shane Watson, David Warner