Australia names ODI squad for tour of India, pectoral muscle injury rules Mitchell Starc out
Mitchell Starc (right) was a notable omission from Australia’s 15-man squad for the limited-overs tour of India. (AAP: David Gray)
Australia has named a 15-man squad for the upcoming cricket tour of India, but the team will be without Mitchell Starc for the important World Cup preparation series due to a pectoral muscle injury.
Australia’s pace bowling stocks had already taken a hit when Josh Hazlewood was ruled out of the Test series against Sri Lanka with a back injury.
Starc made a welcome return to form after an inconsistent summer of cricket with a 10-wicket haul for the match in Australia’s big win over Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval.
However Starc’s name was missing from the squad list announced on Thursday, with national selector Trevor Hohns confirming injury had ruled the paceman out.
“Unfortunately, scans have revealed that Mitchell Starc sustained a substantial tear to his left pec muscle while bowling on the final day of the Test match in Canberra,” Hohns said.
“This means he will be unavailable for the tour of India, but we will instead target a return to play for the ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE in March.”
Starc will be replaced in the squad by South Australian quick Kane Richardson, who last played for Australia on the tour of England in June last year.
“Kane has been in outstanding form over the summer, including his recent performances in the BBL,” Hohns said.
“Kane not only has experience playing ODI cricket for Australia, but he’s also performed well for his country when given the opportunity.”
The other pace bowling options are Western Australian trio Jhye Richardson — who replaced Hazlewood for the Sri Lanka series — Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
The Indian tour and the following five-match series against Pakistan are seen as key to Australia’s preparations for the Cricket World Cup, which begins in England on May 30.
On the batting side, Matthew Wade and Mitch Marsh missed out on selection, with Marsh dropped after being part of the team that lost to India 2-1 on home soil in January.
Big-hitting batsman and offbreak bowler Ashton Turner is in line to make his ODI debut for Australia in India. (AAP: Hamish Blair)
The batting lineup in the squad included skipper Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, wicketkeeper and vice-captain Alex Carey and D’Arcy Short.
“Ashton is a smart cricketer who reads the game well and provides us with another strong batting option,” Hohns said.
“He’s been in good form over the summer, and he has an opportunity to put his case forward ahead of the World Cup.”
Short has been named as cover for Shaun Marsh, who is recovering from a hamstring injury and is about to become a father for the second time. Hohns said Marsh was expected to be available for the third ODI.
Hohns indicated a squad for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE in March will be announced towards the end of the Indian tour.
Earlier, Cricket Australia announced that assistant coach David Saker had resigned, effective immediately.
Saker, a former fast bowler for Tasmania and Victoria, joined the team in 2016 after stints with the England national side and Victoria.
He will be replaced as assistant coach for both series against India and Pakistan by Troy Cooley.
Squad: Aaron Finch (C), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (VC), Pat Cummins (VC), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa, D’Arcy Short (to cover for S Marsh at start of tour).