Injury has forced Australia to make a late change to their squad for this year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, with experienced spinner Ashton Agar ruled out of the event with a calf concern.
Agar's only recent ODI appearance for his country came earlier this month against South Africa in Bloemfontein, but the 29-year-old has failed to shake off his lingering calf problem and his place in Australia's 15-player squad at the World Cup will be taken by experienced batter Marnus Labuschagne.
Labuschagne was originally left out of Australia’s preliminary squad for the tournament, but some good recent form in 50-over cricket against South Africa and India has provided the right-hander a late lifeline.
Australia finalised their squad for the six-week tournament on Thursday, with the five-time World Cup champions waiting right until the final moment to put a line through Agar and include Labuschagne in their group of 15 players.
All countries participating at the World Cup had to submit their final squads to the ICC prior to September 28, with changes within squads after that date only allowed with permission from tournament organisers.
While Australia decided to swing one last minute change to their squad, the Aussies decided to stick with Travis Head despite the fact that the hard-hitting left-hander is unlikely to be available for the early portion of the tournament due to a fractured hand.
Head picked up the injury against South Africa earlier this month and the recent good form of Labuschagne paved the way for the right-hander to come into the squad.
“There has been one change to the original preliminary squad of 15 announced a month ago with Marnus replacing Ashton," George Bailey, the chief selector said.
“This was a tough call but unfortunately, we couldn’t carry both Travis and Ashton into the tournament with the injuries they have.
“We have made the decision to carry Travis through the early stages with the aim of him being available around the mid part of the tournament."
The absence of Agar in India will mean Australia head to the World Cup with just one specialist spinner in their squad, with experienced all-rounder Glenn Maxwell likely to support Adam Zampa as spin options.
Australia World Cup squad: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc.
All the squads for the event in India will be finalised today. You can check out the ten squads here.