Australia has confirmed mass team changes to face Zimbabwe in the First ODI on Sunday in Townsville.

The Aussie side was confirmed by captain Aaron Finch at the toss of the coin where Australia won the toss and elected to field.

Finch had earlier this week said Marnus Labuschagne had been dropped for the series opener.

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The biggest surprise in the Aussie XI named on Sunday was the selection of Alex Carey at No. 4.

Aussie test star Nathan Lyon said Carey’s position appears to be motivated by the selectors’ plans for Carey’s role at next year’s World Cup in India.

“I think they may be looking a little bit to the future,” Lyon said in commentary for Fox Cricket.

“Obviously the One-Day World Cup’s not far away and obviously that is in India and Alex Carey controls the spin extremely well.”

Australia has a near full-strength side for the historic one-day series against Zimbabwe.

Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc have all been selected, while Test captain Pat Cummins has been rested.

The mass changes to the most recent Aussie ODI selected during the Tour of Sri Lanka included Matthew Kuhnemann and Josh Inglis not being considered.

Finch had earlier revealed there was no room for Labuschagne in the starting XI, which is dominated by all-rounders.

Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh and Cameron Green have all been selected for the first ODI, giving Australia a plethora of bowling options.

“We’re just going with an allrounder-heavy side,” Finch explained.

“Two quicks plus Zampa, and Cameron Green as the fourth genuine bowler. And then using Marsh, Stoinis, Maxwell as our fifth bowler effectively.

“It’s a way of lengthening our batting, and I think it’s important we keep trying to juggle the structure of the team around a little bit over the next little while.

“We don’t want to get pigeonholed into playing in one particular structure of team.”

Labuschagne will effectively be replaced by Smith, who missed the second half of the ODI series against Sri Lanka with a quad injury.

Speaking to News Corp this week, Labuschagne rejected the notion he and Smith are fighting for the same spot in the starting XI ahead of next year’s World Cup in India.

“Obviously Steve has had a few injuries in the past few months so we haven’t had the opportunity to actually bat together in that middle order too much,” he said.

“It’s certainly one where I think if you look at us batting in the middle, we’ve got chemistry.

“We play really well off each other and we’re able to play that high intensity game.

“It probably doesn’t look the same as if you’ve got a big hitter in who might be going at 10 through the middle … but with Steve and I having a bit more of that touch type game I think it’s really effective through the middle and hopefully we can have more opportunities in trying to grow that middle-order position together.”

The series opener against Zimbabwe will mark Australia’s first ODI on home soil since December 2020, more than 600 days ago.

Australian XI for first ODI vs Zimbabwe

Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steve Smith, Alex Carey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

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