Melbourne, Feb 9: Aaron Finch was replaced with Steve Smith as captain, while Test wicket-keeper Peter Nevill was included in place of Matthew Wade as Cricket Australia (CA) effected critical changes in its 15-member World T20 squad on Tuesday. “The Australian men’s T20 Intertiol squad will be led by current Test and One-Day Intertiol captain Steve Smith, replacing Aaron Finch who has held the role since October 2014,” CA said in an announcement.
tiol selector Rod Marsh said it was the right time for Smith to captain Australia in all three formats. “Aaron Finch has done a very good job captaining Australia in T20 cricket. He will have benefited enormously from the leadership opportunity and will remain a highly-respected leader within the Australian squad,” Marsh said.
“However, since he became T20 captain, there has been a broader leadership transition in Test and One-Day Intertiol cricket with Michael Clarke retiring and Steve Smith assuming the captaincy in Test and one-day cricket.”
“We think now is the right time for Steve to lead Australia in all three forms of the game as it offers us important continuity, not only ahead of the World T20, but beyond that tourment as well,” Marsh said.
Among other big changes, Australian Test wicket-keeper Nevill, who played for the Melbourne Renegades in the KFC Big Bash League will make his T20I debut. He has been selected ahead of incumbent limited-overs wicketkeeper Wade, who has paid the price for some inconsistent glovework and a modest runs output (albeit from limited opportunities) with the bat of late.
While Nevill’s batting in 20-over cricket is scarcely domint - he has averaged 15.75 with a highest score of 25 and a strike rate of barely a run-per-ball in the KFC Big Bash League - the quality of his wicketkeeping could prove vital on low, slow Indian pitches.
In line for their T20 Intertiol debuts are Perth Scorchers’ left-arm spinner Ashton Agar and Melbourne Stars’ leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who complement the right-arm off-spin of Glenn Maxwell. IANS