Captain Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc may not be fit to play before the start of the Cricket World Cup 2023 in India next month, but all were named Wednesday in Australia’s provisional squad for the tournament. Cummins has a fractured hand, Smith injured a tendon in his wrist, Maxwell has an ankle complaint and Starc has a groin injury. All four are missing from the ODI series in South Africa due to start Thursday.
Australia won the preceding Twenty20 tournament 3-0. Eight of the 15 players in the provisional squad also featured in the 2019 tournament — Cummins, Smith, Maxwell, Starc, Alex Carey, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner and Adam Zampa.
“Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell are on track in their return to play programs,” selection chairman George Bailey said. “All are well placed to come back online in the coming weeks and potentially for selection in the upcoming series against India.
“There are eight one-day matches still to play in South Africa and India before the final squad is due to be declared. They are followed by two World Cup practice games, which offers plenty of opportunity to continue the build for the tournament.”
Presenting your 15-player men’s provisional squad for the 2023 World Cup!
Australia has won the 50-overs World Cup a record five times. England is the defending champion after beating New Zealand in 2019 on a controversial countback when the final finished tied. England and New Zealand will open this year’s tournament on October 5 at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The final is scheduled for November 19 at the same venue.
Sean Abbott has earned a maiden call-up to the World Cup team but Marnus Labuschagne has failed to find a place in the side. Labuschagne’s omission underlines the Aussies’ preference for versatility in the 50-over format with three seam-bowling allrounders picked instead.
Abbott pipped Nathan Ellis for the fourth pace-bowling spot behind the ‘big three’ of captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. Both Abbott and Ellis had made reasonable claims for the position, but Abbott’s extra experience (11 career ODIs to Ellis’s four) and stronger batting played in his favour.
Australia World Cup squad: Pat Cummins (captain), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
(with PTI inputs)