Melbourne: Off-spinner Nathan Lyon was today recalled to the Australian ODI squad for the remaining two matches against India as the selectors also included Shane Watson and Shaun Tait in the Twenty20 series that follows.
Shane Watson. Pic/Suresh KK
Having already taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series, Australia have opted for Lyon's services in place of young pacer Joel Paris in the 13-member squad while opener David Warner also returns to the team after the birth of his baby girl with Usman Khawaja making way for his vice-captain.
Lyon, who last played an ODI for Australia in 2014, has been in the wicket-taking mould for his Big Bash side Sydney Sixers and was been rewarded for his fine showing.
"Our choice of Nathan Lyon comes off the back of good form in the KFC BBL (big Bash League) and we decided the time is right to have another look at him in the shorter forms of the game," said national selector Rod Marsh.
The final two ODIs will be held in Canberra and Sydney on January 20 and 23 respectively. With an eye on the World T20 that starts March 8 in India, Cricket Australia also made wholesome changes in the 17-member T20 squad for the three-match series that starts January 26.
Steven Smith and Warner will play only in the opening match in Adelaide before sitting out in the next two games to prepare for the first ODI against New Zealand on February 3. Two matches Two major surprises come in the form of Watson, who last played an ODI in Australian colours in 2015 and Tait, who will mark his international return after a five-year hiatus.
"Shane Watson has earned his recall to Australian colours through a combination of his experience, especially in short-form cricket, the all-round package he offers and the fact he is bang in form at the moment, having put performances on the board for the Sydney Thunder," said Marsh.
"Shaun Tait returns on the basis that he is the quickest bowler going around in Australia at the moment and he offers us that explosive option if we choose to use it," the former player added. The squad will also see some young but familiar BBL and domestic faces in all-rounder Chris Lynn, wicketkeeper-batsman Travis Head, medium-pacer Andrew Tye and Queensland leg-spinner Cameron Boyce.
"Chris Lynn, Travis Head and Andrew Tye have made irresistible cases for inclusion off the back of individual excellence in the KFC BBL and we are delighted to offer them the opportunity to push their claims for inclusion in the ICC World Twenty20," Marsh said.
"In terms of leg-spin, Cameron Boyce has once again impressed in domestic action and deserves his spot." The selectors said they regretted not being able to find places for George Bailey and Mitchell Marsh but noted that the door remains open to the World Twenty20 squad.
"We know what both those players are capable of, and both have significant experience of playing Twenty20 cricket in India," Marsh said "But we want them to continue to press their cases for inclusion while we take this opportunity to look at other contenders." The second T20 takes place in Melbourne on January 29 while the final game will be in Sydney on January 31.
ODI: Steven Smith (c), Aaron Finch, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland, Kane Richardson
T20: Aaron Finch (capt), Scott Boland, Cameron Boyce, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Shaun Tait, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.
Spotted: Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma and other celebs at Mumbai airport
Photos: Salman Khan's 'special friend' Iulia Vantur at a song launch
In Pictures: Sex scandals involving Indian politicians
Photos: Abhishek Bachchan and Farah Khan at Boman Irani's birthday bash
Spotted: Shah Rukh Khan at Morani's bungalow in Mumbai