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Australia’s impending white-ball tour of South Africa will be absent key players due to injuries. Steve Smith’s wrist ailment, Mitchell Starc’s groin soreness, and skipper Pat Cummins’ fractured wrist render them unavailable for the tour.
Smith and Starc incurred injuries during the recently concluded Ashes Test series. With Cummins sidelined, the responsibility of leading the white-ball side falls to all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.
Chief selector George Bailey addressed the situation, stating, “The compacted Ashes series and the World Test Championship was a heavy load for the group, and we are taking a conservative approach to the build-up to the World Cup.”
Anticipating the World Cup as a priority, Bailey explained that Smith and Starc are expected to regain full fitness before India’s ODI series and the World Cup warm-up fixture.
Australia’s schedule involves eight limited-overs matches in India next month, leading up to the ODI World Cup opener against the same opponents on October 8 in Chennai.
To counter the absence of Smith, Marnus Labuschagne has been included in Australia’s ODI squad, marking a return to the country of his birth, South Africa.
In Starc’s void, emerging left-arm pacer Spencer Johnson, initially picked for the T20 squad, is poised to potentially make his debut across both white-ball formats.
Australia initiates their South Africa tour with the first T20I in Durban on August 30.
Australian Squads: T20I: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Aaron Hardie, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa
ODI: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Schedule for Australia Tour of South Africa
- First T20I: August 30, Durban
- Second T20I: September 1, Durban
- Third T20I: September 3, Durban
- First ODI: September 7, Bloemfontein
- Second ODI: September 9, Bloemfontein
- Third ODI: September 12, Potchefstroom
- Fourth ODI: September 15, Centurion
- Fifth ODI: September 17, Johannesburg
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