The Press

Aus­tralia’s se­lec­tion headache for opener

- Sports · Cricket · Australia · India · England · Steve Smith · Western Australia · Glenn Maxwell · Moises Henriques · Indian Premier League

Aus­tralia are des­per­ate to squeeze another all­rounder into their XI for tomorrow’s ODI se­ries opener against In­dia, with po­ten­tial debu­tant Cameron Green and vet­eran Moises Hen­riques both in the mix for a call-up.

Mitch Marsh’s an­kle in­jury will force se­lec­tors to make at least one change to the side that de­feated Eng­land in Aus­tralia’s most re­cent hit-out.

Gun bats­man Steve Smith, who missed all three one-day­ers on that tour of Eng­land be­cause of con­cus­sion, is a def­i­nite starter in tomorrow’s SCG clash.

But coach Justin Langer is pon­der­ing a fur­ther tweak to the team, hav­ing iden­ti­fied a glut of all­rounders as be­ing one of Aus­tralia’s key plans as they build to­wards the 2023 ODI World Cup.

It could mean Green is given his first taste of in­ter­na­tional cricket; if not at the SCG on Fri­day then later in the lim­ite­dovers leg of In­dia’s tour that fea­tures three ODIs and three Twen­ty20s.

The 21-year-old de­manded se­lec­tion in the test and white­ball squads with some im­pres­sive knocks but only re­cently re­turned to the bowl­ing crease for West­ern Aus­tralia, hav­ing played as a bats­man while re­cov­er­ing from a back stress frac­ture.

‘‘There’s some headaches but they’re some good headaches,’’ Langer said. ‘‘What we did learn, and we’ve talked about it in our foun­da­tion for one-day cricket, we re­ally like that ex­tra bowl­ing op­tion.

‘‘In Eng­land we had Mitch Marsh, Mar­cus Stoi­nis and Glenn Maxwell be­ing able to get us at least 10 overs.

‘‘We’ve got Cam Green and Moises Hen­riques here as di­rect re­place­ments for Mitch Marsh, both at dif­fer­ent ends of their ca­reer.’’

Some mem­bers of the squad are train­ing un­der Langer’s watch­ful eye at the SCG this week. But Smith and other stars re­turn­ing from the In­dian Premier League are still in quar­an­tine, mean­ing they’re re­stricted to sep­a­rate ses­sions in Black­town.

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