Aussies rest Starc, Lyon for SA and India T20s
PACE spearhead Mitchell Starc, veteran spinner Nathan Lyon and all-rounder Mitch Marsh were all left out of Australia’s Twenty20 squad on Thursday to play South Africa and India.
Coach Just i n La nger sa id t hat t hey, a long wit h Peter Sidd le, would be bet ter of f playing Sheffield Shield cricket to be ready for a busy home summer featuring four Tests against India and two against Sri Lanka.
In their absence, Marcus Stoinis and Jason Behrendorff get a chance to impress after being included in the 13-man squad for a single T20 against the Proteas and three against the Indians.
“We know coming off the back of the tour to the UAE, a huge summer at home, and the World Cup and Ashes just around the corner that we have to get the balance right between playing our best T20 team and preparing for the upcoming Test series,” said Langer.
“While I know all four have a desire to be playing for Australia in every format, with a really tough Test series against India coming up, we believe their best preparation is to go back and get some really good cricket under their belts in the Sheffield Shield.”
Khawaja eyes India Test
Aaron Finch’s Australia are desperate for form. They have lost 17 of their 19 one-dayers and were thrashed 3-0 by Pakistan in a T20 series in the United Arab Emirates last month.
Meanwhile, Usman Khawaja’s comeback from surgery on his knee is ahead of schedule with the opener on Thursday saying he was confident of being ready for the first Test in a four-match series against India next month.
The experienced left-hander, who hit a fighting hundred to help Australia scramble to a draw in the first Test against Pakistan last month, has been out of action since the second Test of that series.
His stability at the top of the order – which is already without the banned Steve Smith and David Warner – has been sorely missed after a string of recent Australian batting capitulations.
He underwent surgery late last month and is already back running.
“My recovery is going really well so far. I’m trying to keep it cool, but it’s actually going really well.
“I feel like I’m a little bit ahead of where I should be,” the 31-year-old said.
The first Test in the Indians’ tour of Australia is set for December 6 in Adelaide.