Quicks reunited in strongest Aussie squad

Scott Bailey
Pat Cummins (L), Josh Hazlewood (2L) and Mitchell Starc (2R) are set to all play in first India ODI

Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc are set to play their first ODI together in 14 months as part of one of Australia's strongest white-ball touring teams in years.

The Aussies' pace battery are expected to be reunited in Tuesday's series opener against India in Mumbai.

It will mark their first white-ball game together since November 2018.

Bi-lateral one-day series late in the summer have traditionally been a time of resting and rotating players for Australian selectors.

The pace trio have rarely combined in white-ball cricket immediately following a Test summer, while young faces are often given a chance to join the group.

Even in the lead-up to last year's World Cup, Hazlewood was missing through injury, while Steve Smith and David Warner were still serving their bans.

But this week's rare away trip in the middle of the Australian summer has provided a significant change of pace.

Coach Justin Langer and injured allrounder Sean Abbott are virtually the only players missing from the first-choice squad.

"That's a reflection on where the quicks are at in terms of the summer they have had. The quicks have been well rested," stand-in coach Andrew McDonald said.

"And we have had a lot of four-day Tests as well, which has given us the ability to get our quicks up and running and push to this one-day series.

"The batting has always been the strongest, but with the bowling we have often seen rotation there.

"This time we are seeing Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood and (Kane) Richardson all together as a quartet, which is a credit to them and their preparation."

Their constant rotation has forced Australia to learn how to play without them more often than they would prefer.

The trio have played together just 16 times on ODIs, while the Aussies have played 18 games without all three since the end of the 2015 World Cup.

The next World Cup is still more than three years away, but, given it's in India, preparations have already begun in earnest.

White-ball cricket has become a major focus in 2020, with most of the squad expected to play in October's Twenty20 World Cup at home currently in India.

"There's no doubt there is a little bit of cross over with where the T20 team wants to head," McDonald said.

"You see Ashton Agar in this squad, but there is also a middle order probably not as explosive as a T20 squad with Marnus (Labuschagne)and Peter Handscomb.

"There is still a big focus on 50-over cricket.

"This is the best Australian team Australia can put out there, and I think that naturally takes care of itself in the crossover to Twenty20 cricket."