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Cummins rested for T20Is on Sri Lanka tour as big guns return

Australia have named four squads, including an Australia A team, to tour Sri Lanka in June with Test captain Pat Cummins to be rested from the T20 internationals while Adam Zampa will miss the tour due to the birth of his first child.

Australia play three T20Is, five ODIs and two Test matches in Sri Lanka in June and July and have added an A tour with Australia A set to play two 50-over matches in Colombo and two four-day games in Hambantota while the T20I and ODI series are taking place.

There were no shocks in the Test squad with a virtually unchanged group from the one that beat Pakistan 1-0 in March. Marcus Harris and Mark Steketee are the only players missing but both have been named in the Australia A squad.

Australia is almost back to full strength in the T20I squad as they ramp up preparation for the T20 World Cup title defence later this year at home. Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Steve Smith, Mitch Marsh, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson all missed the white-ball series in Pakistan but all have returned for the Sri Lanka tour with Wade, Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson picked solely for the T20Is.

Ben McDermott‘s absence from all four squads is the only surprise following his performances in the ODI series against Pakistan where he made his maiden ODI century and a half-century in the three-match series. But the return of Warner, Maxwell, Marsh and Smith has created a squeeze for spots with Travis Head retaining his place after a phenomenal return to limited-overs cricket in Pakistan.

The Australia A squad features some new names with the selectors keen to trial a trio of young spinners in Tanveer Sangha, Todd Murphy and Matthew Kuhnemann with eye to the future beyond Nathan Lyon. Western Australia allrounder Aaron Hardie has been rewarded for his stunning performance in the recent Sheffield Shield final, where he took 3 for 54 and made 171 not out, with a berth in his first Australia A squad.

Australia’s chairman of selectors George Bailey was pleased to name near full-strength squads for the T20Is and ODIs as Australia continue to build towards the T20 World Cup and the 50-over World Cup next year in India.

“These are very targeted to skill sets and what we see as the bulk of the squad for the home T20 World Cup and looking further forward to the ODI World Cup,” Bailey said.

“We were able to continue to build our depth with great white ball performances in Pakistan on the back of a superb Test Series. As selectors this has been one of the most rewarding parts amid the challenges of the past few years.”

Bailey also noted the Australia A tour gives the squads an enormous amount of flexibility with players likely to cross over between squads where needed. Josh Inglis, Jhye Richardson, Sean Abbott, Scott Boland and Head have all been named in the A squad as well as parts of the main squad.

“There are several players returning to respective squads combined with an Australia A tour running in parallel to the white-ball series,” Bailey said.

“It’s incredibly exciting to have an Australia A component which offers the further flexibility and opportunity for players to be available for and cross over into all squads. That could be from a Test or white ball preparation perspective or an opportunity to impress at an international level.

“Those factors coupled with what we expect to be more freedom of travel means we can be very specific with our structures while continuing to develop the next generation of players.

“This is the first time a tour of this scale has been possible since the Ashes in 2019.”

Australian T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner, Matthew Wade

Australian ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

Australian Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

Australia A squad: Sean Abbott, Scott Boland, Pete Handscomb, Aaron Hardie, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Henry Hunt, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kuhnemann, Nic Maddinson, Todd Murphy, Josh Philippe, Matt Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Tanveer Sangha, Mark Steketee

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo


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