Starc named to return in Caribbean tri-series

30 March 2016

Mitch Starc appealing

Mitchell Starc has been named in the Australian ODI squad // Getty Images

Left-arm spearhead back in the fold as Lyon, Head also receive call-ups to face West Indies and South Africa in ODI series

The return of pace spearhead Mitchell Starc and the inclusion of Nathan Lyon and Travis Head were the major talking points after selectors named Australia's 16-man squad for the one-day international tri-series against the West Indies and South Africa in the Caribbean in June.

Starc returns to the Australia set-up for the first time since fracturing his foot in last November's historic day-night Test in Adelaide and undergoing surgery for an ankle impingement that had troubled him for 12 months.

"Mitchell has progressed very well in his rehab and the medical staff are confident he will be fit to play in this series," Chairman of selectors Rod Marsh said.

"It is extremely pleasing to have a bowler of his calibre back in the side."

Australia squad for the Qantas Tour of the West Indies: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), George Bailey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa

Starc began running, albeit at a slow rate, in late February and will lead an impressive pace attack which features NSW teammate Josh Hazlewood, Western Australian Nathan Coulter-Nile and burly Victorian John Hastings.

The 26-year-old was officially rated as the No.1 ODI bowler in world after claiming 22 wickets at 10 in the 2015 World Cup, but has since slipped to No.3 behind New Zealand's Trent Boult and Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan.

The lissom left-armer has 90 wickets from 46 matches, and has six matches to obtain the 10 more wickets to he needs to reach triple-figures and break the record for the fastest to 100 ODI scalps, which is held by Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq (53 matches).

Incumbent leg-spinner and the star bowler in Australia's unsuccessful World T20 campaign, Adam Zampa, will be joined by Test off-spinner Lyon, who gets another crack at one-day cricket following his two matches against India this summer.

Lyon gets another chance in ODIs // Getty Images

Lyon, 28, is no stranger to the foreign conditions that await having played five Tests and taken 23 wickets in the Caribbean where spin bowling is expected to be a major factor.

"Nathan has bowled very well in the West Indies in the past and we are predicting we will see some slow turning pitches," Marsh said.

"Adam has impressed us in India during the World T20 and has bowled consistently well, and with confidence, when given his opportunity."

While nine squad members featured in last year's triumphant World Cup group, there is one bolter among the touring party in South Australia's Head, who has been named on his maiden ODI tour for his country.

Head, who is currently leading the Redbacks in the Sheffield Shield final in Glenelg, has had a wonderful domestic season, scoring a double-century in the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup at the start of the summer, rescuing the Adelaide Strikers with an incredible ton on New Year's Eve, and being voted the Sheffield Shield Player of the Year, 13 months after being named South Australia's youngest-ever captain at 21.

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The diminutive left-hander also made his international debut for Australia in January, playing his first match at home on the Adelaide Oval and being presented his cap by his Strikers coach and champion fast bowler Jason Gillespie.

"Travis has put in some match-winning performances in all three formats of the game this summer," Marsh said. "He is an exciting young batsman with a bright future and if he gets his opportunity I have no doubt he will make the most of it."

After vying for an opener's spot in the World T20 before the pair eventually combined at the top of the order, Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja look likely to again compete for the right to open the batting, this time with vice-captain David Warner.

Steve Smith is set to lead his side from his favoured No.3, ahead of veteran George Bailey and the core group of allrounders which includes Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner and Mitchell Marsh.

Following his axing from the T20 outfit, Victorian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade returns to international duties as the sole specialist gloveman.

Of the 14 players who initially travelled across the Tasman for the Chappell-Hadlee ODI series in February, only Bushrangers fast bowler Scott Boland was overlooked, with speedster Kane Richardson ruled out with injury. Shaun Marsh was not considered for selection due to the impending birth of his first child, with wife Rebecca.

Australia begin the triangular series against fellow tourists South Africa in Guyana on June 6 before locking horns with the hosts four days later at the same venue.

The round robin tournament sees each team play three matches against each opponent, with the top two teams advancing to the final on June 26 in Barbados.

About the Writer


Sam Ferris is a writer for He started in 2011 as a Big Bash League correspondent and continues to monitor the domestic scene and national sides closely.

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