Amidst the IPL hullabaloo, most of the national teams have started announcing their 15-member squads for ICC Champions Trophy 2017 as well. Australia announced their squad on Thursday morning, which is bolstered with a four-pronged pace attack. Injured players like Mitchell Starc as well as Chris Lynn are included in the 15-member squad. Starc and Lynn, who are currently sidelined due to injuries, are expected to be fit before their opening game against New Zealand on June 2. James Pattinson along with John Hastings have been included. However, James Faulkner, who was the Man of the Match in ICC World Cup 2015 triumph, has been dropped. AUS’ roadmap moving towards ICC Champions Trophy 2017
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis and Moises Henriques also received a call-up for the tournament. Australia’s dilemma for the top and middle-order might be sorted as Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb along with George Bailey have been dropped. Aaron Finch is set to make a comeback. Speaking to cricket.com.au, selector Trevor Hohns said, “Our medical staff will continue to monitor Mitchell and Chris’ recovery from their respective injuries, but we are hopeful they will be fit in time for the team’s departure on May 18.” Lynn, who has played just one ODI, has been named despite series of injuries that have restricted him to just eleven 50-over matches since the 2013 domestic final.
On the selection of Hastings, Pattinson and Henriques, Hohns added, “Both James and John have made very good returns from injury and are bowling well for their respective teams in the English County competition as well as both contributing well with the bat. Moisesfinished off the domestic season very well and has had a great start in the Indian Premier League. We believe Moises’ batting has improved significantly in the past six months.”
As for the omission of Faulkner, Hohns regretted the same, “James (Faulkner) has been a consistent performer for the one-day squad for several years, however with players such as Pattinson, Cummins and Hastings coming back to full fitness and the emergence of Marcus Stoinis, James was squeezed out of the squad and is an unlucky omission.”
The tournament will be played from June 1 to June 18 where Australia are grouped along with New Zealand, Bangladesh and hosts England. The players who are not part of IPL – Josh Hazlewood, Matthew Wade and Starc - will leave for the training camp by May 18 while those part of IPL, will finish with the tournament and then join the camp.
Australia Champions Trophy 2017 squad: Steven Smith (c), Matthew Wade (wk), David Warner, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa.