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Monday 08 July, 2024
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World Cup 2023: Australia Announces 15-Player Squad

BY Shahzad Saeed Sep 06, 2023. 06:08 pm UPDATED: Sep 06, 2023. 06:08 pm

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With Marnus Labuschagne absent from Australia’s 15-player World Cup squad, Sean Abbott has secured his first World Cup spot. The major tournament will take place in India next month.

Labuschagne’s omission highlights the Australians’ preference for versatility in the 50-over format with three seam-bowling allrounders chosen in its place, which is surprising given his initial exclusion from the touring party for the South Africa ODI series.

Along with Mitch Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, and Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green was one of the four all-rounders chosen who can bat in the top seven, and frontline bowlers Ashton Agar and Abbott can also bat.

Behind the ‘big three’ of captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood, Abbott defeated Nathan Ellis to claim the fourth pace bowling position. Both Abbott and Ellis had legitimate arguments for the job, but Abbott’s greater experience (11 ODIs in total compared to Ellis’ 4) and superior batting played in his favor.

Josh Inglis is Alex Carey’s backup wicketkeeper and also serves as the team’s backup batter. Notably, Australia did not sign a backup gloveman for the T20 World Cup last year after Inglis broke his hand just before the competition.

Australia has a lot of flexibility with the 15-player squad, which is still considered provisional and is subject to change up until the ICC-mandated deadline of September 28.

If the circumstances call for it, Stoinis, Maxwell, and Green could all bat as low as No. 8 in the one-day team in India. A more conventional team structure with four specialized bowlers is also conceivable.

Tanveer Sangha, an uncapped player who performed well in recent T20Is against South Africa and could make his ODI debut in the five-game series starting on Thursday, was passed over in favor of Adam Zampa and Agar, the two selected specialist spinners.

Aaron Hardie, Spencer Johnson, and Tim David are the other exempt players in the team to face South Africa in addition to Sangha and Ellis.

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Additionally, Labuschagne has been added to that group as a result of an injury to his close friend Steve Smith.

Since the beginning of last year, Labuschagne’s ODI average has been 24.93, but his batting prowess, ranking as one of the nation’s top fielders, and useful leg-spin make him a desirable option.

In spite of this, Labuschagne or even an unproven prospect like Sangha could still make the team with strong showings in upcoming ODIs against South Africa and India. This is because the team still has the option to make changes to the lineup up until a week before the tournament.

Given the numerous fitness concerns in the Australian camp, including Smith, Cummins (both nursing wrist injuries), Starc (groin), and Maxwell (ankle), that pair may be at the head of the line if adjustments are necessary.

Only Cummins is in the ODI squad to play the Proteas out of that group, and even then, his participation is in question.

George Bailey, the head of selection, expressed confidence that all four will be healthy for the six-week competition and may play again in a three-ODI series against India before the World Cup kicks off, but he left the door open for other roster changes.

According to selection chief George Bailey, “all are well placed to come back online in the upcoming weeks and possibly for selection in the upcoming series against India.”

Before the final squad is to be announced, eight one-day matches in South Africa and India must still be played.

Two World Cup warm-up matches are played immediately after, providing plenty of opportunities to continue preparing for the event.

The entire team for the 2023 World Cup is listed below.

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Pat CumminsSean AbbottAshton AgarAlex CareyCameron Green
Josh HazlewoodTravis HeadJosh InglisMitchell MarshGlenn Maxwell
Steve Smith Mitchell StarcMarcus StoinisDavid WarnerAdam Zampa

Read more: Asia Cup 2023: Pakistan vs India Super Four Stage Fixture Confirmed

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