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Smith, Warner Overlooked for UAE Tour; Starc Ruled Out Due to Injury

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 8, 2019, 8:53 PM IST
Smith, Warner Overlooked for UAE Tour; Starc Ruled Out Due to Injury

File image of Australian pacer Mitchell Starc. (Getty Images)

A recurring left pectoral muscle injury to Mitchell Starc has ruled him out of Australia's upcoming One-Day International tour to the UAE while the imminent return of Steve Smith and David Warner have also been delayed, Cricket Australia announced on Friday (March 8).

Australia will play five ODIs against Pakistan in the UAE and have made no changes to the squad that is currently in India for the ODI series.

Starc had hurt his left pectoral muscle during Australia's second Test against Sri Lanka at home early this year and was ruled out of the white-ball tour of India. He was expected to return for the Pakistan series but will now have to put all his efforts to be ready for the World Cup that starts late May.

“Unfortunately, Mitchell Starc’s recovery from his left pectoral muscle strain has been set back by a slight recurrence as he commenced bowling. This has ruled him out of the Pakistan Series and while frustrating for all involved, our focus is to have Mitch ready for the World Cup," Trevor Hohns, National Selection Panel chairman, said.

Meanwhile Warner and Smith have not been considered for the ODI series despite being eligible to play the fourth and fifth game. Hohns said that the best route for Smith and Warner coming back into the side was through the Indian Premier League that will get underway from March 23.

Smith will turn out for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL while Warner will play for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Both the players have been fighting elbow injuries over the last few months but are expected to be fit for the IPL.

"After consultation with members of the National Selection Panel, Greg Chappell and Head Coach Justin Langer, Interim EGM Team Performance Belinda Clark, CA Medical Team and both players, it has been agreed Steve Smith and David Warner will not be available for selection for the final two matches of the series against Pakistan," Hohns said.

"While their bans will be finished on March 28, Steve and David have been working through rehabilitation from elbow surgery and it has been agreed the best pathway for them to return to play is in the Indian Premier League, a strong competition which features some of the world’s best players."

Hohns also praised the current Australian team that whitewashed India 2-0 in the Twenty20 International series and despite losing the opening two ODIs in Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad pushed the hosts each time.

"The squad has started this tour well against a very good Indian side, they won the T20I Series and have pushed the hosts in the opening two matches of the ODI series in challenging sub-continent conditions," said Hohns.

"The squad is making pleasing progress ahead of the World Cup, and with three matches remaining in India and the five-match series against Pakistan to come, we believe they will benefit further from the continuity of playing together."

Australia's tour to the UAE starts from March 22 in Sharjah.

Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Pat Cummins (vc), Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa.
First Published: March 8, 2019, 10:05 AM IST

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