Marnus Labuschagne has been dealt an unwanted blow having been officially left out of the Aussie provisional World Cup squad after joining the tour to South Africa as a backup. Australia will play the One Day International World Cup in India next month and are using the tour of South Africa as a warm-up.
Labuschagne was initially out of the South African tour squad, but entered when Steve Smith withdrew after the Ashes. However, the Aussie selectors have opted not to select the test cricketer for the World Cup with a number of players set to return to the squad.
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Instead the selectors have opted to go for versatility in the squad with three allrounders selected for India. Mitchell Marsh, who will deputise as captain for the injured Pat Cummins in South Africa, will most likely open the batting for Australia and offer a bowling option.
Marcus Stoinis joins Cameron Green as the other two allrounder heavy options. Allrounder Glenn Maxwell has also been included, despite returning home from South Africa without playing a game after he re-injured his leg.
World Cup debutant Sean Abbott was selected ahead of Nathan Ellis as the fourth fast bowler option. Having performed a stellar job in the T20 match against South Africa, he will be behind Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc. Josh Inglis will act as a back-up batter and wicketkeeper to Alex Carey.
Tanveer Sangha impressed during the recent T20s in South Africa, but missed out on selection for the World Cup. Adam Zampa, who has been one of the cricket's best short-form bowlers in recent years, will line-up for Australia.
The 15-man squad is provisional with any player injured in the next five matches against South Africa replaced.
Mitchell Marsh form gives selectors David Warner dilemma
Marsh has been in tremendous form at the top of the order for Australia in white-ball cricket and it has tossed up a dilemma for selectors. Marsh opened for Australia against India in the last series and was a star with the bat.
His latest T20 form as also left the selectors questioning where Warner fits in. The other opener, Travis Head, has been consistent and won man-of-the match honours in South Africa in his last white-ball game.
"It's nice to be back and contributing," Head told Fox Cricket. "There's been limited opportunities in this format for a while.
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"I'd been struggling a little bit to find my tempo and how I wanted to go about it at the top. I spoke to a few boys, and it was nice to contribute tonight."
Warner will be fighting for a spot in the batting line-up and will use the five match series in South Africa to do so. The long-time opener batted down the order in his last One Day International against India with little success.
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