Australia confirm 16-man squad for upcoming T20 series against Sri Lanka – Sporting News

Australia have named a star-studded 16-man squad for the upcoming T20 series against Sri Lanka, with some Big Bash standouts included. 
Aaron Finch will remain as captain despite a lean run of form in the past 18 months, while big-name Test stars including Steve Smith, Pat Cummins and Travis Head have all been named. 
Two notable omissions however are David Warner and Mitch Marsh, who starred in the recent T20 World Cup. Instead, the pair will take time to prepare for the upcoming tour of Pakistan. 
Josh Hazlewood will return from the side injury he picked up during The Ashes, while the likes of Josh Philippe and Daniel Sams have been left out. 
BBL|11 Player of the Tournament Ben McDermott has also been included, after he blasted 577 runs for Hobart this season, while Sixers captain Moises Henriques has been selected after another solid campaign. 
After the white-ball series against New Zealand were cancelled due to travel concerns, Australia will have their first outing as the reigning T20 World Cup champions next month. 
Australia will take on Sri Lanka in a five-game T20 series beginning on February 11th, with two games each in Sydney and Melbourme, as well as one game in Canberra. 
National selector George Bailey said the series will begin the preparations to defend their World Cup trophy later this year. 
“This squad will begin preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup defence at home later this year and includes several players who have an early chance to impress in these five matches against a quality opposition,” he said. 
Justin Langer will take planned leave for the upcoming series, with Andrew McDonald to act as caretaker coach. 
The big inclusion is that of Head, who hasn’t featured for Australia in white-ball cricket for a few years, but will return to the fold for this series.
Bailey expects the form he showed during The Ashes to translate into T20 cricket against Sri Lanka quite comfortably.
“He hasn’t played a great deal of white-ball cricket…it’s one of those conundrums that faces a number of players,” he said.
“Trav is a very talented cricketer across all three formats, I think we are seeing him come into the best years of his life in terms of the way he plays his cricket.
“We saw some terrific form with the bat over the Test series, and he’s just a quality striker of the ball and quality cricket player. We know he is a good player, he has had some success in both those formats in the past.
“For Trav specifically, we saw the way he played and the tempo he played his Test cricket. His domestic one-day record over the past couple of years has been phenomenal – but the one part of his game he hasn’t had the continuity or the time to focus on has been his T20 cricket.
“If you go back through his history, there is a skillset there that lends itself to that format – he fits really well with what he can do and he provides a little bit of flexibility.”


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