Australia lose three key players to injury, set to miss India tour
Mitch Starc (knee), Mitch Marsh (ankle), and Marcus Stoinis (side) have all been ruled out of the tour, and Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams, and Sean Abbott have been added to the squad in their place. David Warner was already unavailable since he was provided with a break.
Australia has been compelled to make three changes for a short T20 tour of India as selectors adapt to a cautious stance ahead of the title defence of the T20 World Cup next month. Mitch Starc (knee), Mitch Marsh (ankle), and Marcus Stoinis (side) have all been ruled out of the tour, and Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams, and Sean Abbott have been added to the squad in their place. David Warner was already unavailable since he was provided with a break.
The three injuries are mild, but Australia has taken a prudent stance ahead of the T20 World Cup, which gets underway on October 22 when they play New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground as the India tour involves travelling to three different locations for three games in India. Marsh and Stoinis suffered injuries during Australia's ODI series in north Queensland against Zimbabwe and New Zealand, but Starc was forced to withdraw from the tour after a scan on his knee was conducted today in Sydney.
Warner, Marsh, Starc, and Stoinis are all anticipated to be available for Australia's home T20 series against the West Indies and England leading up to the World Cup. Tim David will likely make his Australian debut on the India tour as a middle-order finisher due to Stoinis' absence, and he will have the opportunity to make it difficult for Stoinis to reclaim his spot in the lineup.
With all-rounder Cameron Green joining the team in Marsh's absence, Steve Smith may go back up to No. 3 while Josh Inglis is set to partner Aaron Finch at the top of the order with Warner slated to be rested from the trip. The squad includes Ashton Agar, who was dropped by Australia's adventurous selection process when they stormed to the World Cup title in the UAE last year.
Australia's prospects of becoming the first men's team to win back-to-back T20 World Cup titles depend heavily on Marsh in particular. Following Australia's victory against Zimbabwe in the first ODI in Townsville, the 30-year-old complained of ankle pain and was immediately put on ice to heal.
In Dubai in November, Marsh had his finest moment while donning the Australian gold, scoring 77 not out from 50 balls at number three in an eight-wicket victory. This victory ended the men's side's T20 World Cup title drought for Australia. Together with Matthew Wade, Stoinis was a key player in Australia's semi-final victory over Pakistan. The all-rounder scored 40 runs off just 31 balls as Australia came back from 62 runs behind in the final five overs to win.
To prepare for a few days of acclimatisation and training leading up to the opening match on Tuesday in Mohali, the modified Australia team will take off for India early on Thursday. On September 23, they play again in Nagpur, followed by the final game in Hyderabad two days later.
After that, Australia will return home to host the West Indies in Queensland on October 5 and 7. Ellis joins the team after a stellar T20 Blast season with Hampshire, which included bowling the pivotal last over where he successfully defended a total to give his team a one-run win. He had the second-best economy rate of any quick to bowl 10 overs, 6.87, and took 15 wickets in 13 games. He added seven wickets in nine hundred games for the London Spirit.
Daniel Sams took 14 wickets in 12 T20 Blast games and cost 9.05 per over, but his 165 runs at a strike rate of 171.87 with 13 sixes enhanced his reputation as a lower-order batsman. He scored 105 runs in five innings for Trent Rockets in the Hundred, his strike rate grew to 190.90. He also added seven wickets in nine games with an economy of 10.20. India have included Jasprit Bumrah and recalled a fit-again Harshal Patel to reinforce their fast bowling for the upcoming T20 World Cup. (ANI)
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