Australia rests Starc, Lyon for T20Is against India

Sydney: Australia on Thursday rested lead pacer Mitchell Starc and senior spinner Nathan Lyon for the T20 series against South Africa and India.

The one-off T20 against South Africa will be played in Gold Coast on 17 November while the three-match series against Virat Kohli-led India starts in Brisbane on 21 November. The other players rested ahead of a busy home season are pacer Peter Siddle and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh while Marcus Stoinis and Jason Behrendorff make a comeback.

Chief coach Justin Langer said the senior players were rested primarily because of the upcoming four-Test series against India starting 6 December at Adelaide. “We know coming off the back of the tour to the UAE, a huge summer at home, and the World Cup and Ashes just around the corner that we have to get the balance right between playing our best T20 team and preparing for the upcoming Test series,” said Langer.

“While I know all four have a desire to be playing cricket for Australia in every format, with a really tough Test series against India coming up, we believe their best preparation is to go back and get some really good cricket under their belts in the Sheffield Shield.”

On the return of Stoinis and Behrendorff, the former Australia opener added: “Marcus missed our recent T20 matches in the UAE because he hadn’t resumed bowling, but now he’s back to full fitness he’ll add great depth to the squad. Marcus is such a versatile player, he’s a powerful middle-order batsman and he provides us with another solid bowling option. Jason Behrendorff has also earned a spot in the squad after returning to full fitness. It was exciting to see him bow well in the JLT Cup and in the recent Prime Minister’s XI match, and it gave us more evidence of how devastating he can be with the new ball. Tactically we believe it’s important to have a good left-arm swing bowler at our disposal for the four matches,” said Langer.

Without the services of the suspended Steve Smith and David Warner, Australia have been going through tough times on the field. They lost to Pakistan in the Test and T20 series played in the UAE before being hammered by South Africa in Perth in the first of the ongoing three-match ODI series.

Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.