Why was Labuschagne dropped? Here’s the answer…

Vaibhav Tripathi

Cricket Australia (CA) has revealed an expanded 18-player roster for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, set to take place in India from October 5 to November 19, along with the ODI series against South Africa and India leading up to the event. Notably absent from the provisional squad is Marnus Labuschagne, while emerging talents- leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha and all-rounder Aaron Hardie have been introduced.

Labuschagne, a prominent figure in Test arena, has been left out of Australia’s ODI team due to lacklustre performance in the 50-over format, averaging 25.80 since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a strike rate of 77.98. The team management found it challenging to accommodate both Steve Smith and Labuschagne in the same ODI lineup, given their similar roles.

Tanveer Sangha, with only five List A games in his career, and Aaron Hardie, who has played 16 List A matches, have secured their berths in Australia’s ODI squad for the upcoming white-ball tour of South Africa. While Hardie will vie with fellow seam-bowling all-rounders like Mitchell Marsh, Cameron Green, and Marcus Stoinis, Sangha adds a potential spin option for Australia, particularly on turning surfaces anticipated in the World Cup.

Sangha’s impressive performances in the BBL with the Sydney Thunder have illuminated his talent. He took an impressive 21 wickets in the 2020-21 season, earning him a spot in a T20 tour of New Zealand. He continued this success with an additional 16 wickets during the 2021-22 BBL before a forced hiatus due to injury.

Despite nearly a year away from professional cricket due to a back stress fracture, Sangha is on the verge of making his ODI debut for Australia. He is being groomed as a future successor to Zampa in the Australian team, currently serving as Zampa’s backup.

As far as the preliminary squad for the world cup is concerned, there are no surprises in the bowling front.

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