Australia’s selectors have reacted to the recent T20I series whitewash at the hands of India – and, to a certain extent, the ODI series loss to New Zealand – by omitting a stack of incumbents from the squad to travel to the World T20 World Cup next month.
Matthew Wade is the shock casualty, dumped in favour of Test wicketkeeper Peter Nevill, while Shaun Marsh, Cameron Boyce, Chris Lynn, Travis Head, Shaun Tait, Kane Richardson, Nathan Lyon and Scott Boland have all been axed after featuring against India.
Young spinners Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa have got the nod ahead of Boyce and Lyon; seamer Nathan Coulter-Nile and in-form John Hastings also in at the expense of Boland, Richardson and Tait; and Usman Khawaja has unsurprisingly won selection after a stellar summer in all formats, forcing Marsh out of the side as he did at Test level. Steve Smith has been named captain of the squad, taking over from Aaron Finch, with David Warner his deputy.
Khawaja will likely grapple with the injured Finch and veteran Shane Watson for a top-order berth in Australia’s first-choice XI.
The snub capped a disappointing 24 hours for Wade, who was involved in a fiery spat with Black Caps all-rounder Grant Elliott in the Hamilton-hosted ODI decider last night, calling Elliott a ‘f***king coward’ after he gave Mitchell Marsh a vigorous send-off.
Wade has paid the price for failing to produce any match-turning innings of note in recent times, with his inferior glove-work compared to Nevill the clincher.
Australia’s World T20 campaign begins with a March 17 clash against New Zealand, before pool games against a yet-to-be-confirmed qualifier, Pakistan and hosts India.
Australia World T20 squad: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, James Faulkner, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Nevill, Andrew Tye, Shane Watson, Adam Zampa