KFC T20 INTL Series v India
'Wild Thing' back to hurry India in T20s
Shaun Tait, Nathan Lyon, Chris Lynn and Andrew Tye among new faces in 17-man squad as Australia selectors prepare for World T20
18 January 2016, 07:34 AM AEST
Australia's selectors have included the 'Wild Thing' Shaun Tait and uncapped paceman Andrew Tye in a 17-man squad for the three KFC T20 Internationals against India later this month.
Australia's Test off-spinner Nathan Lyon also gets the chance for his first T20 international cap in an enlarged squad picked to allow coaching staff and selectors to take a closer look at the stars of the KFC Big Bash League with an eye to picking a squad for the World T20 tournament.
Tait has been bowling thunderbolts for the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League this summer but has not represented his country since Australia's quarter-final exit in the 2011 Cricket World Cup in India.
The 32-year-old has taken 10 wickets in eight matches for the Hurricanes in BBL|05, consistently pushing the speed gun above the 145kph barrier.
WATCH: Tait ramps up the speed in BBL|05
National Selector Rod Marsh said: "Shaun Tait returns on the basis that he is the quickest bowler going around in Australia at the moment and he offers us that explosive option if we choose to use it."
Tye's inclusion is off the back of his stellar form for the Perth Scorchers. In eight matches for the reigning BBL champions, the right-armer has taken 13 wickets while conceding only 6.79 runs per over – the fewest by a fast bowler with more than 20 overs in the tournament.
While Tait and Tye are the shock inclusions in the large playing group, there was no room for former T20 captain and in-form middle-order batsman George Bailey or allrounder Mitchell Marsh.
WATCH: AJ Tye's ice-cool death bowling denies Hobart
Bailey has been in sublime touch this summer as the Hurricane's leading run-scorer with 240 runs at 60, and that form transferred into the 50-over format for Australia where he scored his third one-day international century in Perth.
Australia's persistence with Marsh has continued throughout the Test and one-day legs of the international summer, but with only one half-century in his last 10 matches across all formats – an unbeaten 50 against Tasmania for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield in October last year – the 24-year-old was overlooked.
Quick Single: Big Bash finals ins and outs
However, Cricket Australia's chairman of the national selection panel said the door remained open to the pair for the final World T20 squad.
"Sadly we could not find places for George Bailey and Mitchell Marsh in the Twenty20 International squad but for both of them, and for others who have missed out on places in that line-up, the door is certainly not closed for selection for the ICC World Twenty20," said Rod Marsh.
"We know what both those players are capable of, and both have significant experience of playing Twenty20 cricket in India where the ICC World Twenty20 takes place, but we want them to continue to press their cases for inclusion while we take this opportunity to look at other contenders."
Aaron Finch will continue to captain the side, alongside Test and one-day international skipper Steve Smith, batsmen David Warner and Shaun Marsh, wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, allrounders Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner and veteran Shane Watson.
Watson admitted his career in the green and gold of Australia might have been over after he was not chosen for the Victoria Bitter ODI Series against India, but the 34-year-old got the nod after strong performances for the Sydney Thunder.
WATCH: Watson blasts BBL fifty in Sydney Smash
Watson was the 2012 World T20 player of the tournament and is Australia's leading wicket-taker in T20 cricket, and his experience will be invaluable to Finch and Bupa Support Team Head Coach Darren Lehmann.
"Shane Watson has earned his recall to Australian colours through a combination of his experience – especially in short-form cricket – the all-round package he offers and the fact he is bang in form at the moment, having put performances on the board for the Sydney Thunder," said Marsh.
Despite making his domestic debut in the old Big Bash for South Australia and playing 52 Tests, Nathan Lyon is yet to make his T20 international debut, but will get an opportunity after being included alongside incumbent spinner Cameron Boyce.
WATCH: Nathan Lyon puts Hobart in an early-season spin
Lyon claimed five wickets in his first match for the Sydney Sixers this season, and has made it no secret of his desire to represent Australia in all three formats of the game.
"Our choice of Nathan Lyon comes off the back of good form in the KFC BBL and we decided the time is right to have another look at him in the shorter forms of the game," said Marsh.
Brisbane Heat captain Chris Lynn's stunning Big Bash form could not be ignored, entering the squad as the League's leading run-scorer with 378 runs in eight matches and one century all at a whopping strike-rate of 173.39.
Lynn's hitting power was in display in his side's final match of the summer at the MCG, clocking five sixes in a row off one Ben Hilfenhaus over.
WATCH: Lynn is the BBL's King of the Six
Equally effective at clearing the pickets has been Adelaide Strikers top-order batsman Travis Head.
Head has hit 20 maximums this season, second only to Lynn's League-leading 27, with nine maximums coming in his pulsating century against the Sixers on New Year's Eve.
WATCH: New Year's Eve fireworks from Travis Head
"Chris Lynn, Travis Head and Andrew Tye have made irresistible cases for inclusion off the back of individual excellence in the KFC BBL and we are delighted to offer them the opportunity to push their claims for inclusion in the ICC World Twenty20," said Marsh.
"In terms of leg-spin, Cameron Boyce has once again impressed in domestic action and deserves his spot."
Melbourne Stars duo John Hastings and Scott Boland join Strikers' speedster Kane Richardson in the fast bowling ranks, with all three men able to bowl with the new ball and at the death.
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen called Hastings and Boland's death bowling display for the Stars against the Hurricanes as possibly the best he's ever seen.
WATCH: KP's huge wrap for Stars death bowling duo
The T20 squad was named concurrently with a squad for the final two Victoria Bitter One-Day Internationals against India, with Nathan Lyon and David Warner returning to the team in place of Umsan Khawaja and Joel Paris, who can return to their BBL clubs - Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers respectively - for finals action.
Players named in this 17-man squad not already in the one-day squad and who are in finals contention, will remain with their BBL clubs until the conclusion of the finals. That includes the Adelaide Strikers' Travis Head and Scorchers' Andrew Tye.
Smith and Warner will only feature in the first T20 against India before sitting out the two matches that follow as they prepare for the first Chappell-Hadlee ODI against New Aealand that takes place in Auckland on February 3.
Australia 17-man squad: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steve Smith, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Shaun Marsh, Cameron Boyce, Nathan Lyon, Chris Lynn, Travis Head, Kane Richardson, Andrew Tye, Scott Boland, Shaun Tait