David Warner's injury has now opened up an opportunity for the 30-year-old D'Arcy Short to bat at the top of the order for Australia in the remaining white-ball games against India.
While there are high chances that Marnus Labuschagne will be preferred to open ahead of the left-handed batsman in the last of the three-match ODI series, Short looks like a certain starter for the T20I series that is scheduled to follow next.
The Western Australia all-rounder has already featured in 20 T20Is for Australia, amassing a total of 592 runs at 32.88. These runs include four fifties too, and he has taken three wickets with his left-arm wrist spin on top of that as well. Short’s last T20I in Australian colours was in February 2019 and it was against India.
However, the return of David Warner and Steven Smith from ban meant he had to lose his spot in the top-order for Australia. Short has still managed to be a prolific scorer in T20 tournaments, despite his exile from the national squad. Nobody has scored more runs than him in the Big Bash League since his debut in 2016.
Short has 1764 BBL runs to his name at an average of 46.42 and it includes two centuries and 15 fifties as well. His overall strike-rate of 143.29 also goes on to tell how explosive a batsman he is.
So, all he needs to do now is to carry that form forward into the upcoming T20I series against India. A good performance in these three matches will make him one of the most preferred Australian players ahead of the T20 World Cup next year.
While Short might still have to sacrifice his spot at the top of the order when David Warner returns, but his ability to bowl spin gives him an edge over players like Marnus Labuschagne and Marcus Stoinis - the front-runners for the number 4 role in the T20I side at present.
Short bowls a pretty effective left-arm wrist spin and has a five-wicket haul to his name in this format as well. Hence, his presence in the team will give Australia a different dimension in the Indian conditions. Though his middle-order role in presence of Warner, Finch and Smith in the top three might seem a little odd, Short has increased his range and technique a lot in the last couple of years. That makes him capable enough to deal with the demands of that role.
Feature Image courtesy: AFP / Rodger Bosch