Mitchell Marsh’s career resurgence will hit new heights when he captains Australia’s T20 outfit in South Africa, but Marnus Labuschagne’s 50-over World Cup hopes appear dashed after he was left out of the touring party.
All-rounder Marsh starred in Australia’s T20 World Cup triumph in 2021, then won back his Test spot during the recent Ashes series.
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Now, the 31-year-old will lead a side featuring Steve Smith in three T20 games against the Proteas while a host of regulars rest ahead of October’s ODI World Cup in India.
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green and David Warner will miss the T20 series, while Ashton Agar rehabilitates a calf injury.
All will join for the one-day leg of the South African tour, with Cummins expected to be fit after fracturing his non-bowling wrist on day one of the final Test.
Glenn Maxwell (family leave) will link with the squad in India for a three-game series before the World Cup.
All-rounder Aaron Hardie, left-arm paceman Spencer Johnson and top-order batsman Matt Short have been included for potential T20 international debuts.
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Mitchell Marsh is the new Australia T20 captain. Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Tanveer Sangha, Nathan Ellis and Hardie have been included in an 18-man ODI squad that will be trimmed to 15 in early September and finalised on September 28.
Labuschagne is the major omission as Australia look to win back the ODI World Cup from England, paying the price after passing 50 just three times in 16 innings since being recalled to the middle order in March last year.
“Mitch has long been a senior player within the white ball structure, with this an opportunity for him to add to his leadership skills at international level,” chairman of selectors George Bailey said in a statement.
“Aaron, Spencer and Matt have been outstanding in the BBL and identified as potential national players of the future.
“Aaron has impressed in recent outings for Australia A as well as for the Scorchers, while Matt has blossomed with extra responsibility at the top of the order for the Strikers.
“Spencer’s left-arm pace and bounce was highly effective in his first season for the Heat.
“This trip will be a fantastic experience for all three and the chance to play their first games for their country.”
George Bailey has explained the selections for the upcoming white-ball matches. Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Bailey said Cummins’ “enforced rest” was a positive ahead of the World Cup opener against the hosts on October 8.
“Pat injured his left wrist diving in the field on the first day at The Oval,” Bailey said.
“He has an undisplaced fracture of his left radius which requires six weeks’ rehabilitation.
“We expect him to join the squad during the South African ODI Series.
“There are still a number of games he could play before the World Cup, which is more than enough for him to have a strong preparation.”
T20 SQUAD: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Aaron Hardie, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa.
ODI SQUAD: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
T20s v South Africa: August 31, September 2 and 3. ODIs v South Africa: September 7, 9, 12, 15 and 17. ODIs v India: September 22, 24, 27.
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