Australia name 12-man squad for third T20
Australia cricket selectors have named a 12-man squad for Monday night’s third and final Twenty20 clash with Pakistan, with allrounder Glenn Maxwell pressing for a return to the side.
Maxwell was 12th man for Friday night’s game two which ended in a tie before Pakistan won the single-over eliminator by one run to take a two-nil lead in the series.
The 23-year-old Victorian made his one-day international debut last month against Afghanistan and hit an unbeaten 56 in Australia’s victory in game three of the ODI series against Pakistan in Sharjah on September 3.
However he was dropped after making four runs and taking 0-25 off two overs on his T20 International debut in game one against Pakistan in Dubai last Wednesday.
Maxwell could take the place of fellow allrounder Dan Christian although middle-order batsman David Hussey, who also bowls some handy offspin, is another candidate to make way.
The Australians need to regain winning form although middle-order batsman Cameron White insists that fine-tuning ahead of the World T20 is the team’s main focus.
White admits victory in game three (starting 0200 Tuesday AEST) would be a confidence-booster ahead of the World T20 which starts in Sri Lanka next week.
Australia’s first game in the tournament is against Ireland on September 19 in Colombo.
George Bailey’s men have suffered the embarrassment of dropping to 10th on the world rankings, below the semi-professional Irish side, although victory against Pakistan would allow Australia to rise one spot.
White says they’ve shown improvement after being bowled out for 89 in game one and scoring 8-151 in game two to level the totals before losing the tie-breaker.
“We know where we’re ranked,” says ex-skipper White, whose 2-4 record as captain in 2011 has been matched by Bailey.
Australia have won four of 13 matches since the current rankings period began on August 1, 2010.
“Things can change around quickly,” White says.
“If we start winning in that (World T20) tournament we can easily shoot back up and if we win it, there’s no arguments to say that we’re not No.1 in the world.”
Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore says legspinner Shahid Afridi, is unlikely to return yet from a thumb injury while offspinner Saeed Ajmal is expected to play despite a sore left shoulder.
Australia squad: George Bailey (capt), Shane Watson, David Warner, Mike Hussey, David Hussey, Cameron White, Matthew Wade, Dan Christian, Brad Hogg, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell.© AAP 2013
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