David Warner, the Australian cricket team’s star player, has been given a break from the squad for the upcoming T20I series against India. This is after his outstanding performance in the ODI World Cup where he scored 535 runs at an average of 48.63. Warner, who has earmarked his retirement from Test cricket at the SCG in early January, will be joining a group of multiformat players who will skip the five-match series ahead of the home summer.
In his place, Western Australia allrounder Aaron Hardie has been called up to the T20I squad. Hardie made his debut in South Africa earlier this year and is expected to provide valuable contributions with both bat and ball. Kane Richardson has also been included as a replacement for Spencer Johnson, who is injured.
The upcoming Pakistan series will serve as a build-up to next year’s T20 edition in West Indies and the USA. Australia currently has six more T20Is scheduled before that tournament, with two three-match series against West Indies and New Zealand in February. The squad now includes seven players who featured during the World Cup plus Tanveer Sangha, who was a travelling reserve throughout.
Matthew Wade will lead the side as captain, although Cameron Marsh is the favorite for the role on a permanent basis after captaining them to a 3-0 victory against South Africa in September. There will also be a stand-in coach for the series, with Andre Borovec taking charge as Andrew McDonald returns home ahead of the summer.
The series gets underway in Visakhapatnam on Thursday, with Australia’s T20I squad consisting of Matthew Wade (capt), Travis Head, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Josh Inglis, Aaron Hardie