Australia’s 18-player squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India has raised some eyebrows due to surprise inclusions and notable omissions. The uncapped leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha and inexperienced all-rounder Aaron Hardie have been unexpected additions to the squad. However, Test star Marnus Labuschagne has been left out, creating a buzz among cricket enthusiasts.
Captain Pat Cummins, who will lead the team, is facing a race against time to recover from a fractured wrist sustained during the recent Ashes series against England. He has been advised to rest for six weeks and hopes to be fit for the opening contest against hosts India on October 8. Despite Cummins’ injury, chief selector George Bailey believes the rest will be beneficial for him and is confident in the team’s preparations.
“We view a period of enforced rest for Pat as a positive ahead of this important World Cup campaign.”
“There are still a number of games he could play before the World Cup which is more than enough for him to have a strong preparation.”
Australia’s squad will be reduced to the mandatory 15 players closer to the tournament’s commencement. The squad includes a mix of experienced players like David Warner, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, and Glenn Maxwell, along with emerging talents such as Cameron Green and Tanveer Sangha. Sangha, who has been part of previous T20I tours, could provide a spin option on the spin-friendly Indian pitches.
Aaron Hardie’s inclusion has put him in competition with established all-rounders like Mitch Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, and Glenn Maxwell. The omission of Labuschagne is surprising given his consistent performances, as he has only missed eight 50-over matches for Australia since his debut in 2020.
“This side has been extremely impressive for several years in limited-overs cricket,” Bailey stated.
“There is an enormous amount of skill and experience in the group, which you need in a World Cup.”
Australia will prepare for the World Cup through a five-match series against South Africa before the tournament. George Bailey, the chief selector, expressed confidence in the well-balanced squad and believes Australia has a strong chance of clinching their sixth World Cup title.
Australia’s preliminary World Cup squad:
- Pat Cummins (c)
- Sean Abbott
- Ashton Agar
- Alex Carey
- Nathan Ellis
- Cameron Green
- Aaron Hardie
- Josh Hazlewood
- Travis Head
- Josh Inglis
- Mitchell Marsh
- Glenn Maxwell
- Tanveer Sangha
- Steve Smith
- Mitchell Starc
- Marcus Stoinis
- David Warner
- Adam Zampa
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