Veteran gloveman to skipper Australia in five-T20I series against India but all-format bowlers to sit out
Wade elevated to captain T20 side in post-World Cup tour
Matthew Wade's international career that he considered all but over 12 months ago lives on after the veteran wicketkeeper was named Australia captain for a five-game T20 series against India tacked on at the end of the ODI World Cup.
Wade, who openly questioned whether last year's T20 World Cup would be his swansong at the top level, will lead a squad shorn of all five of the all-format pace bowlers (frontline and otherwise) in the mix for the first Test of the home summer against Pakistan.
Australia T20 squad: Matthew Wade (c), Jason Behrendorff, Sean Abbott, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Wade is in the job on an interim basis only, taking over from Mitch Marsh who captained for three matches in South Africa in August. The Tasmanian has not played international cricket since the T20 World Cup last year, though was called in as cover for the T20s against the Proteas.
Australia have been without a permanent T20 captain since Aaron Finch retired in February, and do not appear in any rush to appoint one.
"Matthew has captained the team previously, is a leader in the group and we look forward to him taking the reins for this series," said selection chief George Bailey. "Like Mitch Marsh in the South Africa series, this is another great opportunity to further deepen our international leadership experience and depth."
Wade's inclusion also creates an intriguing dynamic with fellow gloveman Josh Inglis, who has taken Alex Carey's ODI spot recently and holds his spot in the T20 squad. Wade seems set to be the first-choice keeper in India, but the pair could conceivably feature in the same XI or share the role.
Selectors have not forgotten Wade's clutch performances that helped deliver Australia their first men's T20 title in 2021 and his left-handedness remains an asset in a side that is not blessed with many.
While Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, along with allrounders Marsh and Cameron Green will head home at the end of the ongoing 50-over event in India, fellow Test players David Warner, Steve Smith and Travis Head will, perhaps surprisingly, all stay on for the T20s in India.
Warner remains one of Australia's most important white-ball players even as he approaches his final Test series and will be important to their T20 World Cup hopes in the Caribbean and USA. Both Head and Smith will be in the mix to open with him at that tournament.
None of that trio, nor any of the 15 players today named for the quick-fire campaign beginning four days after the ODI Cup final, will be available for the final round of Marsh Sheffield Shield matches (beginning November 28) before the KFC BBL break.
Green, whose Test spot is uncertain after Marsh displaced him at the back-end of the Ashes earlier this year, could have a chance at pushing his case in Western Australia's four-day match at the Gabba against Queensland and the ensuing Prime Minister's XI match against Pakistan from December 6 in Canberra.
Whether the Test bowling incumbents – captain Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc and Marsh – are in the mix for those matches appears dependent on how deep into the ongoing World Cup Australia go.
The careful management of Australia's pace stocks is understandable given there are only 11 days between the final India-Australia T20I in Hyderabad on December 3 and the first Test against Pakistan beginning December 14 in Perth.
Having played only three T20s since their group-stage exit at the at last year's T20 World Cup, the Aussie men only have six more T20Is next year before the next ICC event in June; three at home against West Indies and three in New Zealand, both in February leading into the Indian Premier League.
This latest T20 squad features no uncapped players after debuts against the Proteas earlier this year were handed to Big Bash standouts Matt Short, Spencer Johnson and Tanveer Sangha, who have all been retained to face India next month.
Aaron Hardie, who also made his bow against SA, has not, while Ashton Turner has also missed selection.
Ashton Agar has not been risked after suffering a recurrence of a calf injury that has stopped him from playing in the ODI World Cup. The start of the Perth Scorchers' BBL campaign looks a more likely re-entry point for the left-arm spinner.
Seasoned operators like Tim David, Sean Abbott, Josh Inglis, Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Ellis have all been picked alongside fellow experienced white-ball campaigners Adam Zampa, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis.
Qantas T20 Tour of India
November 23: First T20, Vishakhapatnam
November 26: Second T20, Thiruvananthapuram
November 28: Third T20, Guwahati
December 1: Fourth T20, Raipur
December 3: Fifth T20, Bengaluru
All matches start 12.30am AEDT on the following date.
No Australian broadcast deal has been announced yet