MELBOURNE: Australia have unveiled new one-day international and Twenty20 International captains in Tim Paine and Aaron Finch respectively for their upcoming tours of England and Zimbabwe.
According to ICC, Paine, who took over as Australia’s Test captain from Steve Smith during the tour of South Africa in March after the ball-tampering incident, will lead a 15-member squad for the series in England, which starts on 13 June at The Oval. Finch has been named his deputy for the five-match ODI series.
Finch, meanwhile has been named captain for the one-off T20I against England and the tri-nation T20I series against Zimbabwe and Pakistan in July. Alex Carey has been handed the vice-captaincy duties in the shortest format of the game.
However, Trevor Hohns, the Chairman of Selectors, said that the appointment of Paine, who has played just 30 ODIs, as captain was a temporary one.
“Tim is a strong leader and will captain the side for this series, supported by Aaron,” said Hohns. “A decision on a permanent one-day captain will be made in due course.
“We have selected a 15-player squad as we push forward in our preparations for the ICC Cricket World Cup in England in 2019. Obviously, these are the conditions we will face during the tournament so now is a perfect chance to give these players an opportunity to press their case for selection.”
D’Arcy Short’s stocks received yet another boost with the hard-hitting opening batsman handed a maiden call-up to the Australian ODI squad. There was no place, however, for Chris Lynn in either of the squads.
“D’Arcy is relatively new to one-day cricket but impressed us with his form in T20 cricket last season,” Hohns remarked. “He brings an all-round package to the side, with strong fielding and bowling skills, and we believe he will combine very well with Aaron at the top of the order.”
Nathan Lyon, who has been Australia’s No.1 spinner in the longest format of the game but has played only 13 ODIs to date, has also earned a recall in the 50-over squad. His last appearance in an ODI came back in August 2016 against Sri Lanka. Ashton Agar has also been given a chance to prove his worth while there was no place for Adam Zampa, the leg-spinner, in either squad.
“Nathan is our number one off-spinner and has excelled with the red ball, however, he is not new to white ball cricket and deserves his chance to push for World Cup selection,” said Hohns. “England potentially have a number of left-handers in their side and we look forward to seeing what he can produce with the white-ball in English conditions.”
“Adam hasn’t performed to the level we would have liked in recent times and we see this as a good opportunity for other spinning options to press their case ahead of the Cricket World Cup.”
The pace battery will also wear a different look with Josh Hazlewood set to lead the attack in the absence of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, who are both nursing injuries. Starc has a ‘tibial bone stress in his right leg’ while Cummins is still recuperating from a back injury. Both players are expected to be fit for Australia’s Test series against Pakistan later in the year.
“Mitchell is going to undertake a pro-longed rehabilitation period for his tibial bone stress injury and we are aiming for a return to play for the Pakistan Test Series in the UAE,” said David Beakley, Cricket Australia’s physiotherapist.
“Pat is still recovering from a lumbar bone stress injury; the good news is that it has not progressed to a fracture but he still requires a period of rehabilitation with an aim for him to return to play for the Pakistan Test series along with Starc.”
Hazlewood will be backed up by Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye, while Marcus Stoinis can fill in a few overs with his medium pace.
The 14-member T20I squad sees Nic Maddinson, the explosive opening batsman, return to the national fold for the first time since 2014.
Jack Wildermuth, the all-rounder, and Mitchell Swepson, the left-arm spinner, also received maiden call-ups to the T20I team. Wildermuth has had a successful 2017-18 first-class season where he picked up 29 wickets in 11 outings at 27.86 along with scoring 551 runs at 34.43 with a top score of 95.