Veteran batsman Michael Klinger is set to make his long awaited debut for his country after he was today named in Australia’s 13-man squad for the three match KFC T20 INTL series against Sri Lanka.
Klinger will be led by Aaron Finch in a squad that includes uncapped Perth Scorchers pair Jhye Richardson and Ashton Turner and towering Adelaide Strikers fast bowler Billy Stanlake.
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Brisbane Heat master blaster Chris Lynn has been included as he recovers from a neck injury that ruled him out of the back-end of the summer’s international and BBL seasons, with his participation subject to fitness.
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Patrick Cummins, James Faulkner, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Michael Klinger, Chris Lynn, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa
"With Australia currently ranked number six in this format and with a number of our frontline players preparing for the India Test series, we have chosen a squad with a good blend of experience combined with several younger players in an effort to improve our performance and therefore our ICC T20 ranking,” said interim chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns.
"The influence of younger players in this squad also gives us the opportunity to look forward to the ICC World T20, which is being hosted here in Australia in 2020. The overall standards being set in the BBL are very high and many of these players are making a good impression, but consistency was key for the selectors on this occasion."
Klinger was Perth's leading run-scorer this summer with 334 runs in 10 matches and is the three-time champions second highest run-getter ever behind only prolific top-order batsman Shaun Marsh.
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"On Michael Klinger’s selection, he has been a very good player in this form of the game for some time now," Hohns said. "He has a history of strong performances in T20 competitions in the UK and in the BBL, including the match-winning innings for the Perth Scorchers to secure this year’s BBL title."
"Tim Paine has been included as the batsman/wicketkeeper, adding to the more experienced players like captain Finch, Henriques, Faulkner and Tye, all of whom have consistent success across multiple summers of the BBL, as well as experience on the international stage."
Lynn was named the KFC Big Bash League Player of the Tournament for a second time this season after he dazzled audiences with savage stroke play and a tournament high 26 sixes.
Lynn's incredible form delivered a maiden ODI cap in Brisbane before injury struck and sidelined the 26-year-old, who will now be racing against the clock to be fit for the three-match series that takes place Melbourne, Geelong and Adelaide.
"Both Travis Head and Chris Lynn were exceptional with the bat this summer and Chris’s selection will depend on his fitness," said Hohns. "He is due to see a specialist later this week and we will take into account that advice ahead of this series."
"Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson and Billy Stanlake round off the bowlers in the squad, all maintaining a balance of excellent economy and wickets in this format, which is essential for a winning side."'
There was no room for the competition's leading wicket-taker Sean Abbott (20 wickets) and highest run-scorer Ben Dunk (364 runs).