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Australia pace trio Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc likely to play T20I World Cup

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Australia pace trio Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc likely to play T20I World Cup

New Delhi, Jan 20 (Ajit Weekly News) Australia’s head coach Andrew McDonald has confirmed the participation of premier fast bowlers – Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, and Mitchell Starc – for the upcoming T20I series against West Indies and New Zealand as a preparation for the T20I World Cup.

The unexpected lighter workload during the Test summer prompts selectors to consider unleashing the trio in the limited-overs format, a departure from the initial plan of resting them.

With none of the four Test matches reaching a fifth day and minimal overs bowled, Cummins, Hazlewood, and Starc present a fresh vigor, leaving the door open for their participation in the T20Is.

Australia’s head coach, Andrew McDonald, hints at the possibility, emphasizing the importance of being at full strength for the New Zealand series, a crucial preparation ahead of the T20 World Cup in June.

“We’ll give some thought to that,” as quoted by ESPNcricinfo. “There’ll be some that may play, and there’ll be some that might not play. It’ll be different squads [for each series]. We’ll look to potentially be at full strength for the New Zealand series.

“We’ve got six games before the World Cup. A lot of the World Cup planning is in place at the moment. We’ll try to be as close to full strength for the New Zealand series as possible. The West Indies series is slightly nuanced.”

The selectors, convening to finalize squads, weigh the workload concerns, especially with Cummins and Starc slated for the IPL. The dynamic could see a strategic rotation, resting players selectively, with Hazlewood likely to feature prominently in both T20I series.

Australia’s successful World Cup campaigns in 2021 and 2023, relying on a formidable pace attack and minimal spin, set the template for the T20 World Cup in the West Indies. The team aims to replicate this structure, backing the trio of Cummins, Hazlewood, and Starc.

While David Warner, Tim David, and possibly Marcus Stoinis anticipate returns from various T20 leagues, uncertainty shrouds the captaincy for the T20 World Cup. Despite his leadership successes in Tests and ODIs, Cummins is unlikely to take the reins in T20Is. Mitchell Marsh, having demonstrated his leadership prowess, emerges as a strong contender, building on his interim captaincy success in South Africa.

Davey will be picked,” McDonald said. “He will come back from the ILT20. I think most of our players that are going over there are due back in on (February 7) in preparation for the (first) T20 in Hobart.”

In a coaching shift, Andrew McDonald opts to skip the ODI and T20I series against West Indies to focus on the upcoming New Zealand tour. Assistant coach Daniel Vettori steps in, leading the squad in McDonald’s absence, a strategic move to ensure a well-prepared team for the challenges that lie ahead.

As Australia navigates this strategic cricketing narrative, the stage is set for an intriguing blend of experience and fresh energy, aiming to make a mark in the T20 format before the T20 World Cup unfolds in the Caribbean.

–Ajit Weekly News

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