Alex Carey has been promoted to opener while veteran Peter Siddle returns from the one-day wilderness in Australia’s opening clash against India on Saturday in Sydney as they experiment ahead of the World Cup.
Wicketkeeper Carey has played six ODIs and usually comes in well down the order, but with an eye on the World Cup later this year in England, skipper Aaron Finch said selectors wanted to see what he could do.
“It’s just an opportunity to see Alex play in a position he’s done quite bit of now in Big Bash and one-day cricket. It’s a position that he’s performed really well with in the last couple of years. He’ll get a good opportunity up there. We are starting to get a balanced side that we feel can adapt to a lot of different conditions,” fellow opener Finch told reporters Friday.
Usman Khawaja will come in at number three with Test discards Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb following them. Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell round out the top of the order.
Seamer Siddle played his last one-day international in November 2010, but gets another chance to impress with the country’s top fast bowlers being rested.
“I never thought I’d get the opportunity to play one-day cricket for Australia again,” he admitted. “I’d probably forgotten about it really … I feel like a young kid getting his first opportunity.”
He joins Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Lyon as other specialist bowlers in the starting XI confirmed by Finch.
Usual spearheads Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are absent for the three-game series ahead of two upcoming Tests against Sri Lanka.
Apart from the matches against India this month, Australia also play one-dayers in India and then against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates ahead of the World Cup, which Finch said was enough time to pin down their best team.
“That’s a very tough 13 games coming up and then the World Cup preparations are under way in the UK, so there’s still games to get that right. While it would have been great to have a settled side for the last 18 months or so I think it’s still enough time to get it right and make sure that come the World Cup we are ready to go with a really well balanced and settled side.” he said.
Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), Alex Carey, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon.