Steve Smith to return to T20Is against Sri Lanka

Ben McDermott has been named in Australia’s 14-man squad for the T20I series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, Cricket Australia announced on Tuesday (October 8). Steve Smith and David Warner also return to the side with Marcus Stoinis being one of the notable absentees.

Stoinis managed just 87 runs in the 2019 World Cup and struggled with injuries. Smith’s last T20I, incidentally, was in 2016 in the T20 World Cup group game against India in Mohali. “We are delighted to welcome Steve Smith and David Warner back into the Twenty20 International fold. Steve is a world-class batsman in all formats, while Warner is Australia’s highest ever T20I runs-scorer. He was also the leading runs-scorer at this year’s Indian Premier League with Sunrisers Hyderabad,” Trevor Hohns, the national selector, said. “The squad we have selected is quite role-specific and we believe it gives us the flexibility to thrive in all match conditions.

“It is almost a year to the day until Australia hosts the men’s Twenty20 World Cup and we have selected this squad with that in mind. We have looked to put a squad together that we think can take us through to that tournament.”

Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa. 

Rajapaksa’s blistering 77 seals the series for Sri Lanka

Stanlake too finds himself in the mix with Hohns suggesting he’s the x-factor in the squad. “We’re also confident in the potency and flexibility of our fast bowling group. Mitchell Starc gives us a left-arm option and has earned a reputation as one of the world’s leading quicks at the top of the innings and at the death. Pat Cummins is a world-class right-arm option and has been in superb form of late. Andrew Tye is a wicket-taking proposition, Billy Stanlake has the X-factor and Kane Richardson has been an excellent short-form player for some time now,” he said.

“In terms of batsmen, we have selected top and middle-order specialists. The likes of Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner and Carey provide us with excellent options through the middle-order after Finch, Warner and Smith.

“In terms of spinners, we feel like the all-round package Ashton Agar possesses is irresistible at the moment and Adam Zampa has proven to be a very good T20 bowler in all conditions.”

Sri Lanka will be the first side to visit and will play their three games on October 27, 30 and November 1 in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne respectively. Pakistan will start their tour with the first T20I on November 3 in Sydney before taking on the hosts in Canberra and Perth on November 5 and 8. They will also play two Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide starting from November 21.

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