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T20 World Cup 2021: Australia name 15-member squad, Aaron Finch to lead

Aaron Finch to captain Australia

Melbourne, August 19: The National Selection Panel on Thursday (August 19) named a 15-player Australia squad for the ICC T20 World Cup in Oman and the UAE, scheduled to start in October. September 10 is the cut off date for participating countries to announce their squads for the mega event.

There were speculations that Australia might not name some of the frontline players in view of the Ashes later this year. But the Aussies, who will be captained by Aaron Finch in the tournament, included all the main players.

George Bailey, Chairman of Selectors, said: "We are confident this squad has the ability to take the side deep into what will be an extremely competitive tournament. We have some of the best players in the world in their respective roles combined with the collective experience to succeed against the very best T20 sides."

Bailey said Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner and Pat Cummins returned to the squad having missed the tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh. He also said Steve Smith returned from an elbow injury while captain Finch has recovered well from recent knee surgery.

"We look forward to having all of these players available both from a playing perspective and the experience they bring to International tournaments," Bailey said.

Uncapped West Australian Josh Inglis has been named in the squad as back-up wicketkeeper to Matthew Wade and a versatile batsman who can have an impact in the top and middle orders.

"Josh has been on our radar for some time with his performances in white ball cricket and more recently in the Vitality Blast where he topped the run charts," Bailey said.

"He offers the squad flexibility in the batting order with his adaptability, counterattacking ability and power striking. He is a player we are excited about for the future."

Selectors have chosen four spinners including Queenslander Mitchell Swepson alongside Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa and Maxwell. Swepson impressed in the games he played in the West Indies and Bangladesh including his 3-26 from eight overs in the last two games on tour.

"Mitchell has been impressive with the opportunities he has had," Bailey said. "Given the amount of cricket being played at the World Cup venues, we expect the wickets in the UAE to favour slow bowling, particularly in the latter stages, so he gives us another strong leg-spin option."

Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood's impressive form on his return to the T20 side last summer and in the West Indies and Bangladesh led to his inclusion to complete the pace attack alongside Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Richardson.

Tasmanian Nathan Ellis, who completed a hat-trick on debut against Bangladesh, all-rounder Daniel Sams and the vastly experienced Dan Christian have been named travelling reserves.

Some of the squad members are expected to take part in the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) prior to the tournament while others will prepare with their respective states.

Australia squad: Aaron Finch (Victoria, Captain), Ashton Agar (Western Australia), Pat Cummins (New South Wales, Vice-Captain), Josh Hazlewood (New South Wales), Josh Inglis (Western Australia), Mitchell Marsh (Western Australia), Glenn Maxwell (Victoria), Kane Richardson (South Australia), Steve Smith (New South Wales), Mitchell Starc (New South Wales), Marcus Stoinis (Western Australia), Mitchell Swepson (Queensland), Matthew Wade (Tasmania), David Warner (New South Wales), Adam Zampa (New South Wales).

Travelling reserves: Dan Christian (New South Wales), Nathan Ellis (Tasmania), Daniel Sams (New South Wales).

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Story first published: Thursday, August 19, 2021, 8:25 [IST]
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