Australian selectors have opted not to send the first-choice bowling attack to Perth for Sunday’s T20 clash with England to limit their workload heading into the World Cup defence in November.
Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa as well as Glenn Maxwell, who all played in Wednesday’s win over the West Indies, won’t make the 5½ flight from the Gold Coast for Sunday’s game.
The tight turnaround of less than 48 hours between Friday’s match in Brisbane has moved selectors to call on Ashton Agar, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson, Mitchell Swepson and Nathan Ellis to take on England.
Mitch Marsh, who made his return from injury on Wednesday, will also head to Perth.
For Stoinis, the match looms as a key fitness test for the all-rounder who didn’t go on Australia’s recent tour of India or play against the West Indies as he recovered from a side strain.
With boom batter Cameron Green looming as a potential World Cup replacement, Stoinis needs to show he can perform.
Those players who don’t travel west will instead stay on the east coast and be used in the second and third clashes with England in Canberra next week.
“The high-performance team and selectors have planned these matches to ensure our squad get to the World Cup fresh and ready to perform,” selection chief George Bailey said.
“Some squad members travelled to Perth early to begin preparations slightly earlier than the main squad and a handful of others will not make the trip to Perth.
“With some players remaining on the east coast, it provides further opportunity for Nathan Ellis and Daniel Sams who both performed well in India.
“Likewise, Mitchell Swepson was a part of last year’s World Cup squad and continues to provide good depth in our T20 spin bowling department.”
Australia‘s pre-World Cup squad shuffle
Second T20 v West Indies, Gabba, October 7
OUT: Mitch Marsh
First T20 v England, Perth, October 9
IN: Ashton Agar, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson, Mitch Marsh, Mitchell Swepson, Nathan Ellis
OUT: Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell
Second and Third T20s v England, Canberra, October 12 and 14
IN: Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell