T20 World Cup preparation hots up as Australia name squad for West Indies
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Australia have named a 14-player squad for next month's three-match T20I series at home against the West Indies.
The series will provide selectors with the opportunity to trial a host of fringe players ahead of this year's ICC Men's T20 World Cup, with first-choice regulars Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc sitting out the trio of matches and in-form all-rounder Mitchell Marsh named to captain the side.
Recently-retired Test and ODI batter David Warner returns to the international fold as does star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and pacer Josh Hazlewood, while the likes of batters Matt Short, Matthew Wade, Tim David and bowlers Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Ellis will get the chance to show their wares ahead of the T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in the USA and West Indies in June.
Chief selector George Bailey admitted he had one eye on this year's 20-over showcase when selecting the squad to take on the West Indies.
“We see these matches as an opportunity to narrow down on those who may be part of the T20 World Cup squad later this year," Bailey said.
“There are a further three T20 internationals in New Zealand following this West Indies series where we will continue to build towards the T20WC as required.
“It is likely we will use the block of six games to provide opportunity to players in some different roles and positions.
“We will then be keeping a close eye on the IPL before choosing a World Cup squad.”
Australia T20I squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
February 9: First T20I, Hobart
February 11: Second T20I, Adelaide
February 13: Third T20I, Perth