The Australia selectors have dropped Glenn Maxwell from the ODI squad to tour India in January despite him being available to play following a mental-health break.
Marnus Labuschagne has been called up to his first ODI squad following his outstanding form in Test cricket and an impressive Marsh Cup where he was the joint Player of the Tournament alongside Queensland team-mate Usman Khawaja, who has also been left out. There are recalls for Josh Hazlewood, Sean Abbott, Ashton Turner and Ashton Agar.
Maxwell will make his return to cricket via the BBL this week where he will captain the Melbourne Stars and has declared he is available play for Australia. However, national selector Trevor Hohns said they will monitor his form in the BBL after Maxwell only managed 177 runs at 22.12 during the World Cup.
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“It is great to see Glenn Maxwell returning to the game in the Big Bash League,” Hohns said. “We will closely monitor his form after what would have been disappointing 12 months in the one-day game by his standards.”
Justin Langer, who will skip the tour to rest with Andrew McDonald taking charge, added: “We love what [Maxwell] can bring, but the truth is he hasn’t performed very well over the last 12 months. We had to take that into account. We are sure he’ll get back to his best and we look forward to that.”
Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, and Marcus Stoinis have also been dropped after being part of the World Cup. Langer said that Khawaja and Marsh were especially unlucky to be left out. “They have played such great cricket. In a three-game series, you have David Warner, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith; it squeezes those two guys out who have been so important to the one-day side.”
Australia’s ODI team has not played since the semi-final loss to England at Edgbaston and the selectors have opted to reward the players who were part of the two T20I series wins against Sri Lanka and Pakistan as they start the next four-year cycle towards the 2023 World Cup.
Nathan Lyon has also been overlooked despite being the second spinner in England and playing in Australia’s tour on India in February, with Adam Zampa and Agar being preferred.
Turner, who underwent shoulder surgery after being omitted from the World Cup, returns while Peter Handscomb, who scored his maiden ODI hundred in India earlier this year and whose skills against spin were underscored by Langer, has been retained following his late call-up to the World Cup. Turner will also provide wicketkeeping cover.
Nathan Coulter-Nile, the leading wicket-taker in this year’s Marsh Cup, misses out with Hazlewood recalled and Abbott, who played his only previous ODI in 2014, claiming the fifth fast-bowling spot. Jason Behrendorff is unavailable following his back surgery.
“The performance of our white-ball squads has been strong, and we are hoping to build the momentum towards the T20 World Cup at home at the end of the year and ultimately build towards the 2023 World Cup in India,” Hohns said.
“The performance of the top order at home through the T20 series was very strong so we look for that to continue in the Indian ODI series. We also believe Marnus Labuschagne is ready for his international white-ball debut after his strong form for Queensland in this form of the game.
“Ashton Turner has proven himself in India with his ability to adapt to local conditions as did Peter Handscomb who joined the squad at the most recent World Cup. Peter also doubles as a back-up keeper if required while Ashton Agar adds to the squad with his all-round abilities.
“In terms of the bowling group we are sticking with combination that are performing well. Sean Abbott and Kane Richardson are in the squad following the successful T20 campaign.
“Adam Zampa and his growing combination with Agar is also something the selectors want to see more of while Nathan Lyon remains in the one-day squad selection frame.”
The squad will be coached by McDonald, who was recently appointed as senior assistant coach, with Langer staying in Australia after being involved in all forms over the last 18 months.
“As one of the leadership group it’s important to show that not only are we focussed on getting the balance right for the players but equally the coaches and staff, head coach included,” Langer said. “Macca (McDonald) is an exceptional coach in all forms of the game and has been fantastic since coming on board. He will do a great job with this squad. We are in very, very good hands.”
Australia squad for the ODI tour of India Aaron Finch (capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (vice-capt), Pat Cummins (vice-capt), Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, David Warner, Adam Zampa