Warner, Smith and Cummins in full-strength Australia World T20 squad
All Australia’s first-choice players who missed the recent tours of West Indies and Bangladesh have returned for the T20 World Cup in the UAE while wicketkeeper Josh Inglis has earned a maiden call-up.
Aaron Finch, who is currently recovering from knee surgery, will lead a squad that includes David Warner, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Pat Cummins and Kane Richardson.
Mitchell Swepson has secured his spot as the third frontline spinner behind Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar.
Inglis, who had a prolific domestic season in 2020-21 and has followed that with strong returns for Leicestershire in the county season, has jumped ahead of Alex Carey as the back-up wicketkeeper and a utility batter. Smith has recovered from an elbow injury to take his place.
“Josh has been on our radar for some time with his performances in white ball cricket and more recently in the Vitality Blast where he topped the run charts,” chairman of selectors George Bailey said. “He offers the squad flexibility in the batting order with his adaptability, counterattacking ability and power striking. He is a player we are excited about for the future.”
Inglis scored 531 runs at 48.27 in the Vitality Blast for Leicestershire at a strike-rate of 175.82 including two centuries. He played at the top of the order for them but last season moved into the middle order for Perth Scorchers.
Western Australia and Scorchers quick Jhye Richardson, who was another to opt out of the tours, has not been included while fringe all-rounder Daniel Sams is among the three reserve players who will travel with the squad.
Dan Christian, who will be at the IPL ahead of the World Cup, is also among the back-up players alongside Nathan Ellis who took a hat-trick on debut against Bangladesh. Those players can only be used if someone from the original 15 is ruled out of the tournament through injury or illness.
Ellis has jumped ahead of Andrew Tye, Riley Meredith and Jason Behrendorff for the position of reserve pace bowler having initially not been part of the main squad on the recent tours before being elevated when Meredith was injured.
Australia have lost their last five T20I series having previously climbed to No. 1 in the rankings in early 2020 although for the last three of those contests – against New Zealand, West Indies and Bangladesh – have not been able to field their strongest side.
“We are confident this squad has the ability to take the side deep into what will be an extremely competitive tournament,” Bailey said. “We have some of the best players in the world in their respective roles combined with the collective experience to succeed against the very best T20 sides in the world.”
Squad: Aaron Finch (capt), David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Josh Inglis.
Travelling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams. (ESPNCricinfo)