With less than a fortnight remaining for the much-anticipated series down under, Australia has named their 13-man squad for the T20I series against India that sees star players like Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Marsh and Nathan Lyon being rested.
Before facing India in a three-match T20I series, the Aussies will take on South Africa in a one-off T20I match. Veteran spearhead Peter Siddle has also been omitted from the side with the selectors keen for the four players to remain fresh for the grueling Test series against India.
Jason Behrendorff has been called into the squad as Starc's replacement. He will be accompanied in the attack by Nathan Coulter-Nile and Billy Stanklake, while Marcus Stoinis returns after missing the T20 series against Pakistan in UAE.
"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 head coach Justin Langer on the decision to leave out Starc, Nathan Lyon, Siddle and Marsh.
“While I know all four have a desire to be playing cricket 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,” he added.
The Aaron Finch-led side were white-washed 3-0 in the recently concluded T20 series against Pakistan and will be desperate to bounce back to lift the gloom over the nation's struggles since the in-famous ball-tampering scandal that saw a dip in their form.
The Aussies have lost the Test series against Pakistan and South Africa, and have suffered defeat 17 times in 19 ODIs played this year. Hence, the worrying form remains a cause of concern for Australia with the 2019 World Cup fast approaching.
Australia 13-man squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D'Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye,