Marcus Stoinis has been dropped from Australia’s T20I squad following his disappointing 50-over World Cup, with Ben McDermott and Billy Stanlake among those recalled to face Sri Lanka and Pakistan as plans are formed ahead of next year’s men’s T20 World Cup.
Just seven of the squad that faced India in two T20Is in February – and won the series 2-0 – are retained with D’Arcy Short, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Peter Handscomb, who kept wicket against India, part of the group missing the cut. Jason Behrendorff was not available for selection having been ruled out for the season with his back injury that will require surgery.
“It is almost a year to the day until Australia hosts the men’s Twenty20 World Cup and we have selected this squad with that in mind,” national selector Trevor Hohns said. “We have looked to put a squad together that we think can take us through to that tournament. The squad we have selected is quite role specific and we believe it gives us the flexibility to thrive in all match conditions.
Stoinis made just 87 runs in seven innings at the World Cup and struggled with a side injury which hampered his bowling, but his omission comes after a stellar Big Bash last season where he made 533 runs at 53.30 at a strike rate of 130.63 and claimed 14 wickets. He played six T20Is last season – one against South Africa and five against India – and finished opening the innings, but the return of David Warner and Steven Smith, who hasn’t played a T20I since March 2016, has led to a crunch for spots in the top order.
He started the domestic season with a bang for Western Australia in the Marsh Cup with an unbeaten 101 off 58 balls in the opening match against Victoria but has followed that with scores of 16, 19 and 1.
Stoinis’ Western Australia team-mate, Ashton Turner, retains his place after there was doubt whether he would be fit following a broken finger in the Marsh Cup but Short, who made 483 runs and took 13 wickets for Durham in the T20 Blast, now also faces a challenge to force his way into the T20 World Cup plans.
McDermott played the most recent of his eight T20Is against India last November before scoring 376 runs in the Big Bash for Hobart Hurricanes.
The spin bowling will be in the hands of Adam Zampa and the recalled Ashton Agar, the latter preferred ahead of Nathan Lyon, with Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye the pace-bowling options.
“In terms of batsmen, we have selected top and middle-order specialists,” Hohns said. “The likes of Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner and [Alex] Carey provide us excellent options through the middle-order after Finch, Warner and Smith.
“In terms of spinners, we feel like the all-round package Ashton Agar possesses is irresistible at the moment and Adam Zampa has proven to be a very good T20 bowler in all conditions.”
The first T20I against Sri Lanka is on October 27 in Adelaide before matches in Brisbane and Melbourne. The Pakistan series starts on November 3 which games in Sydney, Canberra and Perth. Australia have further T20Is at the end of the season when they travel to South Africa and New Zealand.
Squad Aaron Finch (capt), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa