Peter Siddle could bolt into Australia’s squad for the Boxing Day Test as Justin Langer searches for replacements for injured bowler Josh Hazlewood.
The Australian Twenty20 team has struggled to settle on an all-rounder since the retirement of Shane Watson.
Mitch Marsh and Ashton Turner both have injuries that prevent them from bowling, Moises Henriques is a handy batsman but doesn’t bowl enough, while Marcus Stoinis has averaged ten with the bat in T20 internationals from seven innings this year, at a strike rate of 100.
Currently, Australia’s best option is Dan Christian, who captained Nottinghamshire to the English T20 title last season with a batting average of 35 and a strike rate of 153. He also took 11 wickets at 23.53.
Christian had a good Big Bash season with the Hobart Hurricanes, averaging 27 with the willow at a strike rate of 153, and taking 11 wickets at 26.63.
While he struggled in the in the IPL, Christian returned to form in the England T20 Blast with scores of 3, 113* and 47 so far this season.
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Australia’s next T20 series is against Pakistan in October, just before the Test series.
Aaron Finch should captain and open the batting following his recent form in the tri series. While he struggled in that tournament, D’Arcy Short’s 76 in the final should be enough for him to hold onto his spot.
Given that Chris Lynn will still be unavailable, Usman Khawaja should bat at three, with the big-hitting Glenn Maxwell coming in at four. Travis Head, Dan Christian and Alex Carey would make up the rest of the middle order.
Given that the series will be played in the UAE, it makes sense to play two spinners, with Ashton Agar partnering Nathan Lyon, and Mitch Starc and Andrew Tye the pace options.
Shaun Marsh and Pat Cummins should be the reserves, as they will already be in the UAE for the Test series.
My Aussie team for the Pakistan T20s