AUSTRALIA have unveiled a new-look bowling attack for their upcoming five-match One Day International series against India, which will kick off on January 12 in Perth.
With Mitchell Johnson retired and Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins both out injured, Josh Hazlewood is only the front-line bowler remaining from the Aussie outfit which won the ICC Cricket World Cup last March.
He is joined in the 13-man squad by the uncapped Scott Boland and Joel Paris, while Kane Richardson returns to the international stage for the first time since 2014.
National selector Rod Marsh had plenty of praise for Boland and company when he spoke to the press on Monday.
“Scott has continued to impress the selection panel, having bowled very well for Victoria this year,” Marsh said.
“He certainly deserves this chance at the top level.”
More surprising was the selection of West Australian youngster Paris – a veteran of only two first-class games and 13 domestic one-day matches.
Marsh explained: “Joel is an exciting young left-arm bowler who swings the ball well and has bowled beautifully in the Big Bash League for the Perth Scorchers.
“He has had very good figures in short-form cricket and we really want him to make the most of this opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Richardson’s recent form in the Matador Cup and the Big Bash League has given him a chance to add to his eight ODI caps.
“Kane has had a taste of cricket at the international level and although that has been interrupted on occasions through injury we think he is ready to perform consistently for Australia,” Marsh said.
There was no call-up for James Pattinson, however, despite the Victorian seamer’s promising displays in the Test series against the West Indies. Nor was there an ODI reprise for the in-form Nathan Lyon, with hard-hitting allrounder Glenn Maxwell preferred as the sole spinning option.
Also missing are World Cup winners Shane Watson and Xavier Doherty, along with the retired Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin.
Steven Smith’s side could be without David Warner as well, as the imminent birth of his second child could see the Australian vice-captain miss several fixtures.
That scenario would open the door wider still for the recalled Shaun Marsh, who has shown some excellent form in both Test cricket and the Twenty20 arena of late.
Matthew Wade is another who will get an opportunity to cement his spot in the Aussie XI, having reclaimed the wicketkeeper slot during the post-Ashes ODI series in England last year.
John Hastings, Ashton Agar and Test opener Joe Burns also featured on that tour, but none have made the cut for India’s visit.
Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (C), George Bailey, Scott Boland, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Joel Paris, Kane Richardson, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
AUS vs. IND series betting markets
Despite their patchwork pace attack, Australia ($1.30) are firm favourites in the outright betting at online bookmaker Sportsbet.com.
It’s expected to be a highly competitive series, however, as the aforementioned bookie has a 3-2 margin to Australia ($2.63) pegged as the most likely overall scoreline.
Smith and Warner (both $4.33) are the frontrunners to top the batting charts for the series, ahead of Aussie opener Aaron Finch and Indian superstar Virat Kohli (both $6.50).
Starc’s absence has opened up the series bowling markets dramatically, with Faulkner and Hazlewood (both $3.75) favoured just ahead of Richardson ($4.33) in the leading wicket-taker betting for the hosts.
Australia – $1.30
India – $3.25
Correct series score
Australia 5-0 – $8
Australia 4-1 – $3.10
Australia 3-2 – $2.63
India 3-2 – $4
India 4-1 – $11
India 5-0 – $76
Series handicap odds
India +1.5 – $1.41
Australia -1.5 – $2.82
Top series runscorer
Steve Smith, David Warner – $4.33
Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli – $6.50
Ajinkya Rahane – $7
Rohit Sharma – $9
Shikhar Dhawan – $10
George Bailey, Shaun Marsh – $13
MS Dhoni – $17
Manish Pandey – $19
Glenn Maxwell – $21
Matthew Wade – $34
Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh, Mitch Marsh – $41
Axar Patel – $67
James Faulkner, Ravindra Jadeja – $101
Top Australian runscorer
Steve Smith – $3.25
David Warner – $3.50
Aaron Finch – $4.33
George Bailey – $6.50
Shaun Marsh – $9
Glenn Maxwell – $11
Matthew Wade – $17
Mitch Marsh – $21
James Faulkner – $41
Josh Hazlewood, Joel Paris, Scott Boland, Kane Richardson – $501
Top Indian runscorer
Virat Kohli – $3.50
Ajinkya Rahane – $4
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan – $4.50
MS Dhoni – $8
Manish Pandey – $9
Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel – $34
Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh – $41
Ishant Sharma, Barinder Sran, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav – $501
All odds provided by www.Sportsbet.com
Australia vs. India ODI fixtures
First ODI – Tuesday, January 12 at the WACA, Perth
Second ODI – Friday, January 15 at the Gabba, Brisbane
Third ODI – Sunday, January 17 at the MCG, Melbourne
Fourth ODI – Wednesday, January 20 at Manuka Oval, Canberra
Fifth ODI – Saturday, January 23 at the SCG, Sydney
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