Australia unveil ODI and Test squads for West Indies series, Steve Smith named captain for ODIs

Taking charge in the absence of the seasoned pacers, Steve Smith is set to lead the team.

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Australia (Photo Source: Twitter)

In a recent development, Australia have opted to rest their formidable pace trio – Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, and Mitchell Starc – for the upcoming ODI series against West Indies next month. The decision comes as part of a strategic approach, with an eye on managing the workload of key players.

Taking charge in the absence of the seasoned pacers, Steve Smith is set to lead the team. The selectors have also chosen to give a breather to all-rounder Mitchell Marsh. At the same time, Marcus Stoinis finds himself out of the squad celebrating victory in India just last November.

A notable inclusion in the 13-man squad is the uncapped fast bowler, Lance Morris, hinting at a potential debut in the upcoming series. Jhye Richardson, absent from the Australian lineup since June 2022, has earned a recall, bringing his skills back into the ODIs. Alongside them, Nathan Ellis, all-rounder Aaron Hardie, and top-order batter Matthew Short have also secured spots in the squad.

National selector George Bailey shed light on the strategic choices, stating,

"It is a little over 12 months until the Champions Trophy and further opportunities for the likes of Aaron Hardie, Matt Short, Jhye Richardson, and Nathan Ellis will be valuable both to our ongoing improvement as a team and also further their personal experiences in ODI cricket," as quoted by Cricbuzz.

The squad reflects a balanced mix of emerging talents and seasoned players, emphasizing the team's commitment to ongoing improvement and future success in the format.

"The squad strikes a balance between players continuing to make their mark on international cricket, playing alongside some of our most experienced players with an eye to the future in this format," he added.

With Travis Head named as Steve Smith's deputy, the series is set to kick off on February 2 at the MCG, followed by two more ODIs at the SCG and Manuka Oval in Canberra. 

Renshaw earns recall to Test squad

In another recent update, Australia have announced their squad for the first Test of the two-match series. Matt Renshaw emerges victorious in the three-way battle to fill the void left by the recently retired David Warner in Australia's Test lineup for the opening game against West Indies in Adelaide, beating out competitors Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris.

ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), Travis Head (vc), Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Lance Morris, Jhye Richardson, Matt Short, Adam Zampa.

Squad for first Test- Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc.

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