Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade will captain Australia on the one-day tour of New Zealand after skipper Steve Smith was ruled out because of an ankle injury.
With vice-captain David Warner rested, Australian selectors announced the wicketkeeper as the nation’s 24th ODI captain for the three-match series starting on January 30.
Wade was given the nod ahead of West Australian skipper Shaun Marsh, who is making his international return from injury, and South Australian captain Travis Head.
“We had a few options as captain in the absence of Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner but Matthew Wade was the logical option given his leadership experience with Victoria and the fact he is very much a leader within the group already,” interim chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said.
The national selection panel toyed with the idea of sending an SOS to Warner, however decided to persist with the plan to rest the just-crowned world No.1 ODI batsman ahead of the Test tour of India.
Queensland and Brisbane Heat BBL batsman Sam Heazlett has also been added to the squad and is line for a possible international debut despite having just five List A appearances to his credit.
Smith says he sprained the medial ligaments in his left ankle during Thursday’s ODI win over Pakistan in Adelaide.
He was scheduled to have scans on Friday but has has been told by team medicos he’s expected to recover in seven to 10 days.
Opening batsman Aaron Finch has captained Australia in the Twenty20 format but has just been recalled to the ODI squad after being dropped for the Pakistan series.
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) January 27, 2017
Smith was disappointed to miss the series but mindful of Australia’s Test tour of India beginning in late February.
“Every series is important and I would have loved to have been in New Zealand,” Smith said.
“I feel like I’m batting really well at the moment so, when I’m batting well, I want to keep going so it’s disappointing … but obviously we have got pretty big fish to fry shortly in India.”
Sam Heazlett has never played a one-day game for Queensland but is named in Australia's ODI squad for New Zealand. This is getting crazy.
— Adam White (@White_Adam) January 27, 2017
Smith hurt his left ankle while fielding during Australia’s 57-run win against Pakistan at Adelaide Oval.
“I just landed really awkwardly on my foot and I felt something straight away,” he said.
“I went off and got it strapped and looked at, but was in a reasonable amount of pain in the field. I woke up in a reasonable amount of pain again.”
Smith was confident the injury wouldn’t impact on his preparation for the four-Test tour of India – with the first Test starting on February 23.
“They think in seven to 10 days I will be back to almost normal – that is their thoughts at present,” he said.
“I have only got to listen to the medical staff and see where things go from there but they’re confident that everything will be okay from Dubai and into India as well.”
Australia’s Test squad will hold a training camp in Dubai ahead of the Indian series.
Australian ODI squad: Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Sam Heazlett, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (capt, wk), James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Billy Stanlake.