Australia will go all-out in their one-day World Cup preparation, after opting against resting their quicks in next week’s series against England despite the nine-Test summer ahead.
Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were all named in Australia’s one-day squad on Tuesday, with selectors announcing a full-strength 14-man group and Travis Head as the new opener.
The announcement came at the same time as Australia’s Test squad to take on West Indies in the Frank Worrell Trophy, with no changes made from last summer’s team. Marcus Harris remains as part of the red-ball group as the back-up batsman after his strong start to the Sheffield Shield season, while Scott Boland is the fourth quick.
But the interesting point will remain the management of the bowlers. Cummins will lead Australia in both formats, with selectors deciding against putting him on ice for his first series as ODI captain.
Australia’s three ODIs against England finish just a week before the first Test against West Indies in Perth, with only a three-day gap between that and the Adelaide Test. Three red-ball matches against South Africa will quickly follow in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, before a four-Test series in India in February.
“Our focus is to continue to build a squad with an eye to next year’s World Cup under Pat as the new ODI captain, so it’s an important series,” chief selector George Bailey said of the squad.
“Travis Head returns in place of Aaron Finch having played well in Pakistan and Sri Lanka earlier in the year. He has demonstrated flexibility in the types of roles he can play in our ODI line-up.
“Our next opportunity in the ODI format will be in India next year which will allow us to experience similar conditions as for the World Cup in October.”
Harris’s selection in the Test squad comes after he lost his spot at the top of the order after last year’s Boxing Day match. He remained in the squad for the tour of Pakistan but did not play, and was overlooked for the Sri Lanka tour.
The left-hander has since hit two centuries to start the domestic summer with Victoria, after claiming 726 runs at an average of 42.7 in County cricket.
“After some larger squads for the sub-continent tours over the winter, we have returned to a very similar squad to that which performed strongly last summer in comprehensively winning the Ashes,” Bailey said.
Australia ODI squad v England: Pat Cummins (captain), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Australia Test squad v West Indies: Pat Cummins (captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.