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Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc to be rested for Pak limited-overs series
Sydney, Feb 22 - The Australian pace trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc will sit out of the three One-Day Internationals and one-off T20 International against Pakistan to be played after the three-match Test series beginning in Rawalpindi on March 4.
While the three pacers are part of the Test squad, they along with opener David Warner with be rested for the limited-overs series under skipper Aaron Finch beginning on March 29 with the first ODI at Rawalpindi.
The ODIs are part of the Cricket World Cup ODI Super League matches.
Cricket Australia (CA) have, however, included batters Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head in the white-ball squad for the tour.
Australian limited-overs specialist Glenn Maxwell will also skip the white-ball series, with the all-rounder taking time off for his wedding. Instead, Australia have opted for a versatile 16-player squad that will once again be led by opener Finch and will feature some star players.
Along with Smith, Labuschagne and Head, Ben McDermott is also likely to be given another chance at the top of the order in the absence of Warner.
With Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc to sit out in the white-ball series, Australia's fast bowling stocks will rely on the likes of Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Ellis and Kane Richardson.
All-rounders Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh and Cameron Green will provide versatile options for the selectors, while Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar have been named as spinning options.
Australia's national selection panel chair George Bailey admitted it was a difficult task to put together the squad, but remains confident there is enough talent to mix it with the strong Pakistan side.
"We have picked a talented and versatile squad with a number of challenges to juggle, including the tour structure of predominantly 50 over games, management of several multi format players in the medium to long term; and our need to build experience and depth in preparation for two short form World Cups within the next 18 months," Bailey said.
"We're confident the squad can both compete successfully on this tour and continue our progress towards those crucial tournaments."
Australia's ODI and T20 squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa.
Australia's tour of Pakistan: March 4-8: First Test, Rawalpindi; March 12-16: Second Test, Karachi; March 21-25: Third Test, Lahore; March 29: First ODI, Rawalpindi; March 31: Second ODI, Rawalpindi; April 2: Third ODI, Rawalpindi; April 5: Only T20I, Rawalpindi.
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