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Former Australia captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc failed to make the cut for the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan later this month.
Smith and Warner’s 12-month bans for the ball tampering scandal in South Africa last year will end on March 28, but chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns pointed out that they are both still recovering after undergoing elbow surgery.
Smith suffered an elbow injury while representing the Comilla Victorians in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
Similarly, Warner injured his elbow while playing for the Sylhet Sixers in the BPL.
Hohns noted that the duo will feature in the Indian Premier League (IPL), where Smith will play for the Rajasthan Royals and Warner the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“While their bans will be finished on March 28, Steve and David have been working through rehabilitation from elbow surgery and it has been agreed the best pathway for them to return to play is in the Indian Premier League [starting March 23], a strong competition which features some of the world’s best players,” chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“David will play with Sunrisers Hyderabad and Steve with Rajasthan Royals. Cricket Australia will continue to liaise with both Steve, David and their IPL clubs to monitor progress as we build towards the ICC World Cup and the Ashes.”
Meanwhile, left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc suffered a setback on the road to recovering from a left pectoral muscle strain and has thus been ruled out of the five-match series against Pakistan.
“Mitchell Starc’s recovery from his left pectoral muscle strain has been set back by a slight recurrence as he commenced bowling,” Hohns said. “This has ruled him out of the Pakistan series and while frustrating for all involved, our focus is to have Mitch ready for the World Cup.”
Opening batsman Aaron Finch has been retained as captain, even though he has been in dismal form as of late.
Nathan Lyon, Peter Handscomb, Alex Carey and Ashton Turner have all kept hold of their spots as well.
The same goes for pace bowler Kane Richardson, who was diagnosed with a side strain last week. However, Hohns is optimistic that he will recover in time for the five-match ODI series, which begins on March 22 in Sharjah.
“The squad has started this tour well against a very good Indian side,” Hohns said. “They won the T20I series and have pushed the hosts in the opening two matches of the ODI series in challenging sub-continent conditions.
“The squad is making pleasing progress ahead of the World Cup, and with three matches remaining in India and the five-match series against Pakistan to come, we believe they will benefit further from the continuity of playing together.”
Australia’s ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa