MUMBAI: Australia has made wholesale changes to the T20 squad in India as selectors cycle through options for the remaining three matches of the five-game series.
World Cup winners Steve Smith and Adam Zampa are understood to have already flown home ahead of tonight’s third match in Guwahati in India’s north-east, while Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Josh Inglis and Sean Abbott will all return tomorrow.
Jetting in as reinforcements are ‘keeper-batter Josh Phillippe and big-hitter Ben McDermott, who have already joined the squad and are available for tonight’s third T20.
NSW pair Ben Dwarshuis and spinner Chris Green will join the squad in Raipur ahead of the fourth match.
Green is in line to make a long-awaited international debut in either Raipur or the series-ending match in Bengaluru.
Recently appointed the Sydney Thunder’s full-time captain, having filled that role on an interim basis last season, Green has plied his trade extensively on the global T20 circuit.
He’s played 190 T20 matches in the IPL, Pakistan, Caribbean and the UK as well as the Big Bash, but most recently had emerged as a force for the NSW Blues in domestic one-day and first-class cricket.
The inclusion of Marnus Labuschagne in Queensland’s Sheffield Shield squad for the ongoing match with Western Australia opened the door for McDermott to head to India, while WA handed a first-class debut to Joel Curtis with Philippe’s red-ball form tailing off this summer.
The changes leave Travis Head as the sole player from Australia’s victorious World Cup squad to remain in India, along with Tanveer Sangha who travelled with the squad as a reserve.
Head, who struck a century in a player-of-the-match performance in the World Cup final and celebrated the nation’s sixth ODI crown heartily, has yet to feature in the T20 series.
Australia face a must-win game tonight to remain in the series as after slipping to defeat in the opening two matches.
Australia T20 squad: Matthew Wade (c), Aaron Hardie, Jason Behrendorff, Sean Abbott (withdrawn), Tim David, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Chris Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (withdrawn), Glenn Maxwell (withdrawn), Ben McDermott, Josh Philippe, Tanveer Sangha, Matt Short, Steve Smith (withdrawn), Marcus Stoinis (withdrawn), Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa (withdrawn)