Australia announced their 15-member squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 on Thursday as key players like Aaron Finch, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith made a return to the team.

The team is set to welcome back as many as seven first-team members who missed Australia’s tours of the Caribbean and Bangladesh in July and August. 

Apart from Finch and Smith who missed the tour due to injuries, Warner, Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Pat Cummins and Kane Richardson will be back in action as well. Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis and Daniel Sams have been named as travelling reserves.

Australian cricket has endured difficult times in T20 cricket of late. They have lost each of their last five T20I series which includes defeats against West Indies and Bangladesh as well. Unable to field their best XI against the aforementioned teams, the team lost 1-4 to both nations.

Meanwhile, apart from the expected returns, the most surprising name in the squad is that of Josh Inglis, who has earned his maiden national team call-up. Inglis has enjoyed a great run of form in domestic cricket and has pipped Alex Carey and Josh Philippe as Australia’s backup wicketkeeper.

“Josh has been on our radar for some time with his performances in white-ball cricket and more recently in the Vitality Blast where he topped the run charts,” George Bailey, chair of selectors, said. 

“He offers the squad flexibility in the batting order with his adaptability, counter attacking ability and power striking. He is a player we are excited about for the future.”

Both Carey and Philippe have missed out on the squad after failing to impress during the recent T20I tours. Other notable absentees are Moises Henriques, Ashton Turner and Andrew Tye.

“We are confident this squad has the ability to take the side deep into what will be an extremely competitive tournament," Bailey said. 

“We have some of the best players in the world in their respective roles combined with the collective experience to succeed against the very best T20 sides in the world.” 

According to ESPNcricinfo, the Australian cricket team is expected to play two warm-up matches ahead of their T20 World Cup opener, with one of them coming against South Africa on October 23. The team will depart for the UAE in late September or early October.

Australia squad for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

Squad: Aaron Finch (capt), David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Josh Inglis

Travelling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams

Featured photo: AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar