Steven Smith Returns To T20Is After Three Years As Australia Name Squad For Sri Lanka, Pakistan Series
Steven Smith is set to end his hiatus from T20I cricket after being named in the squad for the upcoming Pakistan and Sri Lanka series. The former Australia captain’s last T20I appearance came in the quarter-final of T20I World Cup back in 2016 in Mohali against India. He had taken over as Australia’s T20I captain just a month before the tournament.
In his absence, David Warner, who also returns to T20I side, led the team and there were calls to name him as regular captain in the shortest format. The duo had made their returns to international cricket during World Cup 2019 after completing their one-year ban.
A key member in Australia’s success to retain Ashes 2019, that was played after World Cup, Smith scored 774 runs at Bradmansque average of 110.57. Warner just managed 95 runs in 10 innings.
Australia have dropped all-rounder Marcus Stoinis from the T20I squad following nominal returns in World Cup 2019. Ben McDermott, who played in the home T20I series against India last year, returns following a decent run with Tasmania in the ongoing Marsh One-Day Cup.
Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, D’Arcy Short, Peter Handscomb, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Nathan Lyon have faced the axe while that is set to keep him out for nine to 12 months as he will undergo surgery for the same in the coming weeks.
The absence of Short comes as the biggest surprise. Playing for Durham in Vitality T20 Blast, he impressed with his all-round skills, scoring 483 runs and scalping 13 wickets in 12 matches. In the second match of Marsh Cup, he scored a century against Tasmania.
Aaron Finch will be leading Australia with Alex Carey and Pat Cummins as vice-captains. The side also includes likes of Glenn Maxwell, Mithcell Starc and Andrew Tye.
Australia will kick off the home season with three T20Is against Sri Lanka to be played from October 27 to November 1. The three Pakistan T20Is will be played from November 3 to 8 before the two teams will play a two-match Test series in November-December.