Fraser-McGurk takes World Cup snub in stride

Red-hot young opener praises selectors' communication after falling short in late bid for T20 World Cup spot

Jake Fraser-McGurk insists he had no issues with being overlooked for a T20 World Cup spot as the uncapped young blaster admitted he still feels he's yet to earn a place in the Australian team.

Through a series of jaw-dropping IPL innings, Fraser-McGurk made a strong late bid for a plane ticket to the Caribbean for June's ICC event, before his subsequent omission proved the major talking point from the Aussies naming a settled 15-man squad.

Josh Hazlewood suggested this week it is only a matter of time before the explosive opener is playing for Australia. But the collective experience of World Cup-winners David Warner, Travis Head and captain Mitch Marsh has kept the 22-year-old waiting for now.

Selectors prioritised versatility over specialists for back-up players like Cameron Green and Josh Inglis, who both have auxiliary skills (Green is an allrounder, Inglis a wicketkeeper-batter) in addition to being able to bat in the top or middle order.

"The communication was really good," Fraser-McGurk, whose Delhi Capitals have three games left to secure an IPL finals spot, told the Willow Talk podcast.

"There's two ways you can look at it. You can look at it through, 'This is what I've done to prove my case,' and then there's also, 'Look, a month and a half ago I wasn't even in the picture'.

"They (selectors) probably had a good idea of what (the squad) was a month and a half ago, trying to build that, how they can get the connection in that team.

"It's also hard to fit in. You've got David Warner, our best opener ever in three formats. You've got Travis Head, who's lighting it up over here (in the IPL) and has lit up for the past 18 months. And then Mitch Marsh is the same and he's also the captain.

"I can't really see myself batting five or six because we're pretty set there with Timmy David, Cam Green, those sort of blokes.

"So that's the way I think about it. That's fine. There's hopefully going to be more time for that."

Hazlewood certainly thinks so, with the veteran bowler tipping Fraser-McGurk's ascendancy to international cricket as inevitable, while expressing a hope he can get enough red-ball opportunities over the coming years too.

The South Australian, who crossed states last year from his native Victoria, won two ODI caps against West Indies last summer on the back of a world-record 29-ball century in the Marsh One-Day Cup for the Redbacks.

He then had a breakout BBL campaign, becoming one of the competition's most entertaining players as he spanked 257 runs at a strike-rate of 158.64, but was still behind the likes of Matt Short, Steve Smith and Aaron Hardie in the queue to feature in the ensuing T20Is against West Indies and New Zealand.

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It meant he still had not played an international T20 by the time the Ricky Ponting-coached Capitals snagged Fraser-McGurk as a late signing for the IPL.

"The way he goes about it is quite special, just the ball striking. (But) where do you fit him in?" Hazlewood said on Monday.  

"It's so tough to fit in that top order with what we've got there – Travis, Mitch and Davey as the top three and then the middle order's pretty good as well.

"He'll definitely get his time. He's only young. He'll be in the team sooner rather than later, I think.

"It'd be nice to see him in all three formats, for sure. Opportunity is probably the thing. You notice with guys like (Marcus) Stoinis and (Glenn) Maxwell over the years that the opportunity to play a red-ball game for their state is non-existent, almost.

"It's weighing all that up and balancing it. But hopefully, he's quite young, and he has a bit of a crack in red-ball cricket as well."

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Fraser-McGurk may still be considered to go to the West Indies as a travelling reserve, with Short, Tanveer Sangha and Spencer Johnson the other contenders.

"If I do somehow get a traveling reserve (spot) then great, I can get a good experience there," he said.

"But (his omission) didn't really bother me a hell of a lot because I wasn't in this position to feel like I've earned that yet.

"World Cup cricket is a lot different to IPL and franchise cricket."

2024 ICC Men's T20 World Cup

Australia's squad

Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

Australia's Group B fixtures

June 6: v Oman, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 10.30am AEST

June 9: v England, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 3am AEST

June 12: v Namibia, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua, 10.30am AEST

June 16: v Scotland, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 10.30am AEST

Super Eights, finals to follow if Australia qualify

For the full list of fixtures click here. All matches will be broadcast live on Amazon Prime