Dubai, Nov 8: Australia dropped 2015 World Cup Man of the Tournament Mitchell Starc and spinner Nathan Lyon for the upcoming T20Is against South Africa and India.
Australia announced its 13-member squad on Thursday.
Peter Siddle, who was named as cover for Starc in the recent overseas T20I series against Pakistan, has also been omitted. Other frontline Test bowlers such as Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins continue to be left out too, despite being fit.
'We have to get the balance right between playing our best T20 team and preparing for the upcoming Test series,' ICC quoted Justin Langer, Coach Australia.
'While I know all four (Starc, Siddle, Lyon and Marsh) have a desire to be playing cricket for Australia in every format, with a really tough Test series against India coming up, we believe their best preparation is to go back and get some really good cricket under their belts in the Sheffield Shield,' the coach added.
Meanwhile, left-arm quick Jason Behrendorff and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis have been added to the squad. Behrendorff impressed selectors with his match-winning spell of 3/35 in a warm-up against South Africa for the Australian Prime Minister's XI the other day.
Behrendorff will return to Australian colours for the first time in more than a year.
'It gave us more evidence of how devastating he can be with the new ball,' Langer said of the paceman.
'Tactically we believe it’s important to have a good left-arm swing bowler at our disposal for the four matches,' he added.
Marcus Stoinis has a respectable T20 record, and his spell of 3/16 against South Africa in the first one-day international might have convinced selectors to recall him.
'Marcus missed our recent T20 matches in the UAE because he hadn’t resumed bowling, but now he’s back to full fitness he’ll add great depth to the squad,' Langer explained.
The Aaron Finch-led squad will look to put an end to Australia's T20I woes – in the series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, they were clean-swept 3-0. Playing at home, Australia will want to reverse their fortunes.
Australia will play a one-off T20 against the Proteas on the Gold Coast on November 17 before three matches against India in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney on November 21-25.
Mitchell Marsh, Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle – who have also been left out despite, along with Starc, being part of the recent T20 series in the UAE - will instead play JLT Sheffield Shield cricket in preparation for the four-Test series against India, starting on December 6.
Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa. (UNI)