Labuschagne left out of Australia’s preliminary squad for World Cup; Hardie, Sangha earn call-ups

Tanveer Sangha, leg-spinner from New South Wales, and Aaron Hardie, seam-bowling all-rounder, have been included in Australia’s 18-member preliminary squad for the upcoming World Cup to be held in India in October and November this year. Marnus Labuschagne, though, has been left out.

Sangha, who made his List A debut for New South Wales against Victoria in November 2021, has has taken seven wickets at an average of just over 30 in that format. Sangha also has bagged 37 wickets at an average of 17.89 in the Big Bash League.

Sangha was previously a part of the Australian squad for the T20 series versus New Zealand, in 2021. He also was part of the extended squads for the tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh but didn’t get a game. Sangha also missed most of the 2022-23 domestic season due to a back injury.

On the other hand, Hardie averages just under 25 with the bat in List A cricket and has 15 scalps at an average of just over 30. He put on fine performances during Australia A’s tour of Sri Lanka in 2022, scoring fifties across formats. He also cracked a ton against New Zealand A in a first-class match this year. “Aaron has impressed in recent outings for Australia A as well as for the Scorchers,” Chair of Selectors George Bailey said. 

Meanwhile, Labuschagne has been dropped on the back of his modest performances in the 50-over format. The experienced batter has notched up just 374 runs at an average of 24.93 since January 1, 2022. 

The 18-man squad is scheduled to play a five-match ODI series in South Africa, and subsequently partake in three ODIs in India as preparations for the World Cup. Glenn Maxwell, however, will not be part of the ODIs in South Africa, with the all-rounder being granted family leave. Pat Cummins, the regular  skipper, will miss the T20I series in South Africa due to a wrist injury, but is set to join the set-up for the ODIs.

Incidentally, before the ODI series in South Africa, Australia are slated to play a T20I series in that country. Mitchell Marsh will lead the side. The likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, David Warner, Cummins and Cameron Green have been rested. South Australian Spencer Johnson and Victorian Matt Short  have made it into the T20I squad.

“Pat injured his left wrist diving in the field on the first day at The Oval. He has a fracture of his left radius which requires six weeks rehabilitation. We expect him to join the squad during the South African ODI Series. We view a period of enforced rest for Pat as a positive ahead of this important World Cup campaign. There are still a number of games he could play before the World Cup which is more than enough for him to have a strong preparation.”

“Mitch has long been a senior player within the white ball structure, with this an opportunity for him to add to his leadership skills at international level,” Bailey said. “We look forward to him taking that step in South Africa. Aaron, Spencer and Matt have been outstanding in the BBL and identified as potential national players of the future.”

ODI Squad: Pat Cummins (C), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa

T20I squad for South Africa: Mitchell Marsh (C), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Aaron Hardie, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa

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