Australia v Sri Lanka T20Is - Men
Starc to miss second T20I for brother's wedding
Billy Stanlake in box seat to replace spearhead as hosts eye unassailable 2-0 series lead over Sri Lanka at the Gabba on Wednesday
Adam Burnett in Brisbane
28 October 2019, 03:14 PM AEST
Pace spearhead Mitchell Starc will be absent from Australia's second T20 International against Sri Lanka on Wednesday night as he attends his brother's wedding, leaving the door open for another fast bowler to impress selectors as next year's T20 World Cup hosts look to build their squad depth.
In the box seat for a return to the side is towering Queensland speedster Billy Stanlake, who was recalled to the Australia T20 set-up after missing the tour of India in February.
Stanlake and NSW quick Sean Abbott, who joined the squad in Brisbane today after replacing the injured Andrew Tye, are the two men vying for Starc's place for the Gabba showdown in two days' time, with Australia now hot favourites to take an unassailable two-nil lead in the series after thrashing Sri Lanka by 134 runs in Sunday's opener in Adelaide.
"Billy Stanlake's been in the squad here (in Brisbane), home ground, he might get first crack," said fellow quick Pat Cummins, who yesterday took 2-27 as Australia restricted Sri Lanka to 9-99 from 20 overs in their pursuit of a monster 234.
"Or else you go for the more death-bowling option of Sean Abbott."
Starc has been granted a release from the squad to attend brother Brandon's wedding, with a Cricket Australia spokesperson explaining an increased focus on family time where possible was a mandate of the squad under coach Justin Langer.
Stanlake spent the off-season working hard on adding some more weight to his 204cm frame after the Bulls quick's renowned pace dipped last season, along with his form.
The summer prior, Ricky Ponting suggested he had the potential to be "one of the all-time great fast bowlers" after he impressed in Australia's T20 outfit off the back of a dominant BBL|07 campaign in which his 11 wickets and 6.47 runs per over helped Adelaide Strikers claim a maiden title.
Abbott meanwhile, has impressed across all formats in the past year and was Australia A's leading wicket-taker on the one-day leg of the recent tour of the UK, taking eight wickets at an economy rate of 4.79.
In the KFC Big Bash, the Sydney Sixers bowling allrounder has taken 35 wickets across the past two tournaments to be the second-most prolific speedster in the competition behind fellow Australia squad member Kane Richardson (36 wickets).
"I'm really happy for Seany to get his chance," Cummins added. "I haven't seen a lot of him over the last 12 months but everything I keep hearing not only from the New South Wales boys but from his Aussie A tour over in England was just how well he's been bowling; really good rhythm, really good control and you've seen in the Big Bash the last few years his variations.
"So he's a big inclusion for the squad and hopefully he gets a chance – the good thing is he's in great form so he'll be ready if picked."
Regardless of who gets their chance, Cummins said Australia's effective use of the short ball would continue.
"(Bowling short is) something we speak about, no doubt, especially at the Gabba or Adelaide Oval, where it's quite fast and bouncy," he said.
"And all our bowlers are 6 (foot) four (inches) or 6'5."
The second of Australia's three T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka gets underway at 6pm local time at the Gabba on Wednesday.
Gillette T20 INTLs v Sri Lanka
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Sean Abbott (from game two)
Sri Lanka squad: Lasith Malinga (c), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha
First T20: Australia won by 134 runs
October 30: Second T20I, Gabba, 6.10pm (Fox & Kayo)
November 1: Third T20I, MCG, 7.10pm (Fox & Kayo)
Gillette T20 INTLs v Pakistan
Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir.
November 3: First T20I, SCG, 2.30pm (Fox & Kayo)
November 5: Second T20I, Manuka Oval, 7.10pm (Fox & Kayo)
November 8: Third T20I, Perth Stadium, 4.30pm (Fox & Kayo)