Australia forced into changes as injured trio skip India tour
Australia have been forced into three changes for a whirlwind T20 tour of India with selectors taking a conservative approach ahead of next month’s T20 World Cup title defence.
David Warner had already been rested from the trip and now Mitch Starc (knee), Mitch Marsh (ankle) and Marcus Stoinis (side) have been ruled out of the tour, with Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams and Sean Abbott added to the squad.
The injuries to the trio are minor, but with the travel involved for three games in three separate cities in six days in India, Australia has taken a cautious approach with their T20 World Cup campaign due to start on October 22 when they face New Zealand at the SCG.
The injuries to Marsh and Stoinis emerged during Australia’s north Queensland ODI series against Zimbabwe and New Zealand, but Starc is a late exclusion from the tour after a scan on his knee today in Sydney.
Australia will play home T20 series against the West Indies and England in the lead-up to the World Cup, with Warner, Marsh, Starc and Stoinis all expected to be available for those games.
The absence of Stoinis all-but guarantees Tim David will make his Australian debut on the India tour as a middle-order finisher, and gives him the chance to make it difficult for Stoinis to force his way back into the side.
Marsh’s absence could see Steve Smith move back up to No.3 with allrounder Cameron Green coming into the side, while Josh Inglis is likely to partner Aaron Finch at the top of the order with Warner rested from the tour for family time.
Ashton Agar, who was the victim of Australia’s bold selection policy by being dropped as they powered their way to the World Cup title in the UAE last year, is also in the squad.
Marsh, in particular, is a key cog in Australia’s hopes of becoming the first men’s team to win back-to-back T20 World Cup titles.
The 30-year-old reported ankle soreness following Australia’s win in the first ODI against Zimbabwe in Townsville and was immediately put on ice to recover.