Peter Siddle is set to play his first one-day international in over eight years after he was named in the Australia XI for the first ODI against India on Saturday, 12 January.
Siddle will line up with Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff in a three-pronged pace attack in Sydney, with Nathan Lyon pipping Adam Zampa as the specialist spinner. Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis occupy the all-rounders’ slots.
Siddle’s return to the limited-overs side is testament to his improved form with the white ball over the last few years, especially in the Big Bash League. It will be just his 18th ODI.
“For Sidds to go away and work on the skills that he's brought to the table over the last couple of years in Big Bash cricket is outstanding," said Aaron Finch, the ODI captain, while announcing the squad.
“He well and truly deserves his spot. Any tour you go on, Sidds is one of the first picked I would think for what he brings to the team and the skill set he brings.”
Zampa, Finch said, was unfortunate to miss out, but added that the management believed Lyon and Maxwell would have big roles to play in the lead up to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
“Adam's very stiff to miss out on a game tomorrow,” said Finch. “He's performed reasonably well for us in the last little bit since he's made his comeback.
“It's unfortunate for him to miss but we feel those two (Nathan Lyon and Glenn Maxwell) together could play a really big part over the next six to 10 months.”
At the top of the order, Finch will open with Alex Carey, the wicketkeeper-batsman, with the likes of Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb making up the rest of the batting line-up.
Finch was particularly excited about opening with Carey. “It's just an opportunity to see Alex play in a position he's done quite a bit in Big Bash and one-day cricket,” said Finch.
“It's a position he's performed really well with in the last couple of years. He's been shuffled around the order a bit in the last little while ... and he'll get a good opportunity up there.”
After the Sydney ODI on Saturday, the teams will travel to Adelaide and Melbourne for matches on 15 and 18 January.
Australia XI: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (wk) Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff.
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