Four Aussie stars skip ODIs, T20 for IPL

Oliver Caffrey |

Chairman of selectors George Bailey admits it is a juggling act in keeping multi-format players fresh for international duty with four stars skipping Australia’s white-ball series in Pakistan.

Veteran opener David Warner and fast-bowling trio Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will head to the Indian Premier League after the completion of Australia’s first Test tour of Pakistan in 24 years.

The four are signed to play in the IPL and the tournament is due to begin on April 2, meaning they will sit out Australia’s three ODIs and the lone Twenty20 international against Pakistan.

Explosive allrounder Glenn Maxwell has also been excluded from the games as he is due to get married in India in late March.

Bailey and his selection panel on Tuesday named a 16-player squad for the four limited-overs games in March and April.

“We’ve worked really hard with our multi-format players over a long period, not just this series coming up and leading into the IPL,” Bailey said.

“One of the things we’re keen to ensure is we maintain having our best Australian players playing for Australia for as long as possible in the medium and longer-term.

“We’re constantly managing and working with them around their personal situations to get what they need and continue to get what they need. 

“The (selection panel) will continue to be quite pragmatic in how we approach each series.”

Test wicketkeeper Alex Carey is in the squad, despite not playing a white-ball game for Australia since August, along with Western Australian Josh Inglis, who enjoyed a stunning debut international series in the recently-completed T20s against Sri Lanka.

World Cup hero Matthew Wade now only plays the shortest-format for Australia and was not considered because of there being just one T20 game.

Star batter Steve Smith, who suffered a concussion during the Sri Lanka series, has been included despite concerns around his form in limited-overs contests.

Captain Aaron Finch was down on form against Sri Lanka, even spending two games at No.3 when Ashton Agar was tried as an opener.

However, Bailey has no concerns about the 35-year-old Finch leading Australia to another T20 World Cup in October.

“(Finch) is still battling that knee injury a little bit,” Bailey said.

“Finchy will have a chance to keep working on that (knee), and T20s are a bit of a funny one, you can play a lot without getting much time in the middle.

“I’m really excited Finchy gets some one-day cricket in the near future and to spend some more time at the crease.”

Australia’s first ODI against Pakistan will take place in Rawalpindi on March 29, after the third Test scheduled from March 21-25.

AUSTRALIA’S WHITE-BALL SQUAD: Aaron Finch (capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green (WA), Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa.