Australia’s allrounder Aaron Hardie has been called up to the T20I squad ahead of Thursday’s opening match against India. David Warner, who had an outstanding World Cup where he scored 535 runs at 48.63, has been given a break after the ODI World Cup and will retire from the Test format after the upcoming Pakistan series. Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc are also heading home along with allrounders Cameron Green and Mitchell Marsh.
Warner joins a group of multiformat players who will skip the five-match series ahead of the home summer which starts with the first Test against Pakistan on December 14. Western Australia allrounder Aaron Hardie, who made his debut in South Africa earlier this year, has been added to the T20I squad. Kane Richardson has also been called up as a replacement for Spencer Johnson who has a hamstring injury. Despite starting just four days after the ODI World Cup final, the series acts as part of the build-up to next year’s T20 edition in West Indies and the USA.
Australia currently have six more T20Is scheduled before that tournament with a pair of three-match series against West Indies and New Zealand in February. The squad now includes seven players who featured during the World Cup plus Tanveer Sangha who was a travelling reserve throughout. The side will be led by Matthew Wade although Marsh, who captained them to a 3-0 victory against South Africa in September, is the favourite for the role on a permanent basis. There will also be a stand-in coach for the series with Andre Borovec taking charge as Andrew McDonald returns home ahead of the summer.
The series gets underway in Visakhapatnam on Thursday. The Australia’s T20I squad includes Matthew Wade (capt), Travis Head, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Josh Inglis, Aaron Hardie, Jason Behrendorff, Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Kane Richardson