Cricket Australia has named a squad of 16 to travel to India for a five-game One-Day International series and a standalone T20 fixture in late February and early March.
The squad will travel without regular front-line fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood.
Ashton Turner is the fresh face. The Western Australian and Perth Scorchers star has made three appearances in T20 internationals and will be hoping to make his ODI debut on tour.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 10, 2019
Selector Trevor Hohns said Turner had been on the radar for a while.
“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.”
Starc, fresh off his return to form with a 10-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in Canberra, has suffered what has been described as a “substantial pectoral injury”.
Newcastle Knights star Mitchell Pearce missed more than four months of last year’s NRL season with a similar injury. Hohns, however, insists the severity of Starc’s ailment will not prevent him being ready for the World Cup, scheduled for June and July in Britain.
“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,” he 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.”
Kane Richardson returns to the ODI setup to replace Starc. He has played 18 ODIs and last pulled on the national colours at Old Trafford in Britain in June 2018 in the midst of Australia’s 4-1 series defeat.
Hohns believes Richardson will be a good fit.
“Kane has been in outstanding form over the summer, including his recent performances in the BBL,” he said.
“Kane not only has experience playing ODI cricket for Australia, but he’s also performed well for his country when given the opportunity.”
Paceman Peter Siddle’s return to the ODI squad for the recent 2-1series loss to India was short-lived. Nor is there a place for Mitchell Marsh, though brother Shaun has been named, despite struggling with a hamstring injury.
Hohns insists the door isn’t closed on the two veterans.
“Peter Siddle and Mitch Marsh are unfortunate to miss out,” he said.
“But our message throughout the summer remains true: With such a big schedule ahead, opportunities may well present themselves.”
D’arcy Short, who has been lighting up the Big Bash with the Hobart Hurricanes as the series’ leading run-scorer, has been selected as cover for Marsh in case he cannot play.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 28, 2018
Tasmanian keeper-batsman Matthew Wade continues to be frozen out.
Wade leads the Sheffield Shield run-scorers’ table and has been the second-most prolific batsman in the Big Bash (with the Hurricanes) this season.
Selectors also continue to put their faith in young South Australian Alex Carey.
Australian team for two T20I matches and five ODI matches against India:
Aaron Finch (c) (Victoria)
Usman Khawaja (Queensland)
Shaun Marsh (Western Australia)
Peter Handscomb (Victoria)
Glenn Maxwell (Victoria)
Ashton Turner (WA)
Marcus Stoinis (WA)
Alex Carey (vc) (South Australia)
Pat Cummins (vc) (NSW)
Nathan Coulter-Nile (WA)
Jhye Richardson (WA)
Kane Richardson (SA)
Jason Behrendorff (WA)
Nathan Lyon (NSW)
Adam Zampa (SA)
*D’Arcy Short (WA) – selected to cover S.Marsh for the start of the tour.