With only 2 months to go for the biggest tournament in the world of cricket in the biggest cricketing nation, the Australian Cricket Board has to much delight of fans named their 18-player squad for the World Cup which is scheduled to be held in October 2023 in India.
The 18-player squad will also play in the ODI series against South Africa and India in September 2023 in preparation for the ICC World Cup which will begin from 5th October. Pat Cummins has been named as the captain of the squad which will see the surprise exclusion of Marnus Labuschagne despite having played 30 out of 38 ODIs for Australia since his debut with an average of 31.37. In addition to Pat Cummins, even Mitchell Starc has been added to the squad despite being currently injured with the hope that they recover in time and get to participate in the preparatory ODI series.
“Pat Cummins has an undisplaced fracture of his left radius which requires six weeks rehabilitation,” said Australia’s selection chair George Bailey after the squad announcement. “We view a period of enforced rest for Pat as a positive ahead of this important World Cup campaign. There are still a number of games he could play before the World Cup which is more than enough for him to have a strong preparation,” he further said.
The Australian 18-player squad is as follows: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
While it is to be noted that only 15 players from this squad will actually go ahead to be in the final 15-player squad which will participate in the World Cup, the squad in general looks quite balanced in terms in age, experience and performance. It is, however, expected that Australia will go to World Cup with a spinner-majority bowling attack which will be suitable according to the local conditions. While the final squad cannot be guaranteed right now, it is quite possible that only one player from among Nathan Ellis, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis and Tanveer Sangha will make his way to the final squad because of their lack of experience compared to the other players in the squad. However, we cannot guarantee anything as cricket is such a sport where anything can happen at any time which will change the entire circumstances.