MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Veteran opener David Warner and three other top players will return to the Australian Twenty20 squad for a two-match series against the West Indies as the hosts continue to prepare for their defense of the T20 World Cup title.
Warner will be joined by allrounders Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis and fast bowler Mitchell Starc in the 16-man squad after missing the three-match T20 series in India which India won 2-1.
Warner was rested from that series to manage his preparation for the World Cup in Australia starting next month, while Marsh (ankle), Stoinis (side strain) and Starc (knee) have overcome injuries.
Allrounder Cameron Green, who opened the batting with captain Aaron Finch in India, has been retained in the squad despite not being included in Australia’s lineup for the World Cup which is being played from Oct. 16 to Nov. 13.
Cricket Australia said in a statement on Wednesday that pace bowler Kane Richardson and spin-bowling all-rounder Ashton Agar won’t take part in the West Indies series on the Gold Coast on Oct. 5 and at the Gabba in Brisbane two days later to ensure they are in peak shape for the World Cup.
Australia play their first World Cup match against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Oct. 22.
“We have and are taking a cautious approach with the World Cup on the near horizon,” national selection panel chair George Bailey said. “To have four key players return gives us the ability to take a conservative path with any minor issues and resolve those well in time for the World Cup.”
Bailey said he expects Agar and Richardson to return for the following series against England. That three-match T20 series will be held in Perth and Canberra from Oct. 9-14.
Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.