In the absence of new-ball duo Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, Australia have today included three pace-bowling bolters in the 15-man squad for the Qantas Tour of South Africa later this month.
Uncapped trio Chris Tremain, Joe Mennie and Daniel Worrall have all been selected with Australia to unleash a new-look bowling attack set to be led by John Hastings and Scott Boland in the five-match one-day international series against South Africa, as well as the preceding ODI against Ireland starting on September 27.
Captain Steve Smith returns to lead the side after he was rested from the final three ODIs in Australia’s 4-1 series win against Sri Lanka, while allrounder Mitch Marsh has also been named following the decision to send him home at the end of the Test series sweep on the island nation.
Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (C), David Warner (VC), George Bailey, Scott Boland, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Joe Mennie, Chris Tremain, Matthew Wade, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa.
Australia are missing arguably their five frontline ODI quicks for the South African tour, with rested pair Starc and Hazlewood being joined on the sidelines by James Pattinson and Pat Cummins – both of whom continue their lengthy rehabilitation from shin and back issues respectively – as well as Nathan Coulter-Nile who is just beginning what is set to be an extended stint away from the game due to a bone stress injury in his back that prevented the WA quick from taking the field throughout the Tests and ODIs in Sri Lanka.
Young quicks Jason Behrendorff (back), Joel Paris (shin) and Sean Abbott (ankle) are also at varying stages of their own recovery from injury.
The National Selection Panel’s announcement continues a stunning rise for the three unheralded state quicks and comes on the back of strong Sheffield Shield campaigns in which they claimed three of the top five spots on the list of wicket-takers, as well as standout performances with Australia A during the ongoing tour in Queensland.
Mennie and Worrall formed a key component of South Australia’s run to the final in last year’s edition of the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup and could once again team up with rising star Adam Zampa during the ODI tour, whereas Tremain couldn’t force his way into a Victorian Bushrangers one-day line-up boasting the likes of Pattinson, John Hastings, Scott Boland and Dan Christian in the attack.
The Victorian seamer instead pressed his claims with 36 wickets for the Sheffield Shield champions, followed by a tournament-high 13 wickets at an average of 15.3 – including two five-wicket hauls – for Australia A in the one-day format in recent weeks.
The spate of injuries together with the careful management of key personnel presents a stern test of the country’s pace-bowling depth, but also allows the Australian camp to continue building an army of quicks with international experience to call upon as required.
"Chris, Joe and Daniel all had terrific summers last year and have also impressed us during the recent Australia A series with consistent performances,” National Selector Rod Marsh said.
"They are young players with a bright future who thoroughly deserve their selection and we look forward to seeing them work with John Hastings and Scott Boland, who have both performed well for Australia since returning from injury."
Batsmen Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh feature in the 15-man squad despite each suffering a fractured finger in Sri Lanka, with the pair likely to be given as much time as required for their injured digits to heal.
However, there’s no room in the touring party for the out-of-form Usman Khawaja.
The left-hander - who dominated the previous Australian summer - scored just six runs in his two appearances against the white ball in Sri Lanka, which followed a Test series where he averaged 13.75 and ultimately lost his place in the line-up for the third and final clash.
The Queenslander will now likely get his opportunity to regain some confidence during the domestic one-day tournament beginning in Brisbane on 1 October, where he may again be called upon as captain following the news of yet another shoulder injury for fellow Bulls batsman Chris Lynn.
Allrounder Moises Henriques and off-spinner Nathan Lyon are the other players to be omitted from the squad that tasted 50-over success in Sri Lanka.
- September 27 vs Ireland, Willowmoore Park
- September 30 vs South Africa, SuperSport Park
- October 2 vs South Africa, New Wanderers Stadium
- October 5 vs South Africa, Kingsmead
- October 9 vs South Africa, St. George’s Park
- October 12 vs South Africa, Newlands