Big names miss out as Australia reveal squad for T20 World Cup

A host of big names have missed selection as Australia announced their 15-player group for next month's ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

Veteran batter Steve Smith, young gun Jake Fraser-McGurk, experienced seamer Jason Behrendorff and all-rounder Matt Short all miss the cut as the 2021 T20 World Cup champions sprung some surprises when revealing their squad for the four-week tournament in the West Indies and the USA.

Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar wins a recall despite not having played a T20I since the last T20 World Cup on Australian soil in 2022, while Marcus Stoinis, Tim David and Cameron Green join Glenn Maxwell in the final squad as all-rounder options.

Mitchell Marsh will captain the side, with his promotion to full-time T20I confirmed by Australia alongside the squad announcement.

Selection chair George Bailey believes Australia have a well-balanced squad and is confident of a strong showing in the ninth edition of the T20 World Cup.

“This is an experienced squad with extensive World Cup experience that offers a variety of structures and covers the scenarios the panel believes will factor in the West Indies with the unique nature of the venues and our opponents," Bailey said.

“It’s great to have Ashton Agar back into the squad following a spate of unfortunate and untimely injuries.  

“We believe Ashton can play a critical role in this tournament along with Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Cam Green and Mitch Marsh in complementing our front-line attack options. 

“The batting options available allow a tailored approach to each venue and opponent.”

Bailey noted that the squad size of 15 left many in-form players unlucky to miss selection.

“Steve Smith, Matt Short, Jason Behrendorff, Aaron Hardie, Spencer Johnson and Xavier Bartlett were all part of long conversations, along with several others, including Jake Fraser-McGurk who is yet to play T20 International cricket but continues to impress and is developing rapidly," Bailey said.

“Being constrained to a squad of 15 for World Cups is always a challenge given the different scenarios and options we’d like to cover.  

“We will continue monitoring several players who have missed out on this preliminary squad and note that if we need to change this squad, we have the option to do so over the coming month in accordance with ICC regulations.  

“Ultimately the balance of the final 15 needs to provide the best chance of being successful in this campaign.”

Rohit Sharma mistimed a ball towards the covers, where Travis Head took an absolutely brilliant take.

While Marsh has been performing the role as interim captain of Australia's T20I side for much of the last 12 months, the T20 World Cup will be his first major tournament as skipper.

"It's been an immense privilege to play for my country and now an even greater honour to lead the squad to a World Cup," Marsh said,

"We have had some strong success in recent times and I am hopeful that will continue in what looks like a wide-open tournament."

Australia open their T20 World Cup campaign against Oman in Barbados on June 5, before Group B fixtures against England, Namibia and Scotland.

Australia squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

All teams are allowed to make changes to their squad until 25 May, after which any alteration will require approval from ICC's Event Technical Committee.

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