Australia confirm squad for World Cup as 'tough call' emerges

Australia confirm squad for World Cup as ‘tough call’ sees unlucky spinner miss out while selectors take huge gamble on injured Ashes star

  • Australia have named their squad for the upcoming World Cup 
  • Travis Head has been included despite nursing a broken hand 
  • It means spinner Ashton Agar has missed out on selection 

Australia have squeezed both Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head into their World Cup squad, with Ashton Agar becoming the unlucky man to miss the final cut with a calf injury.

Australia confirmed their final squad on Thursday, just hours before the ICC deadline for changes from the provisional squad named earlier this month.

Beset by injuries in recent weeks, Australia’s selectors have opted to take Head into the 50-over World Cup in India despite him nursing a broken hand out of last month’s tour of South Africa.

It is unlikely he will play any part in the first half of the tournament, but selectors have deemed the opener too important to Australia’s title hopes to leave him out of the 15-man group.

Head’s injury has still, however, opened the door for Labuschagne to be named for the tournament as an extra batsman.

Australia have taken a gamble on Travis Head with the batter picked for the World Cup


Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith , Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Initially overlooked from the extended 18-man squad in August, Labuschagne has belted down the door with runs in South Africa earlier this month and his 72 against India on Wednesday.

The Queenslander’s inclusion means he can bat at No.4 and Mitch Marsh will open early in the tournament, before Head returns at the top and Marsh slides down.

The selection call has left Agar as the man squeezed out, with the left-arm orthodox spinner unable to beat a calf injury in time for the start of the tournament.

‘This was a tough call but unfortunately, we couldn’t carry both Travis and Ashton into the tournament with the injuries they have,’ chief selector George Bailey said.

‘With a focused rehabilitation block we are hopeful Ashton can become available as a possible replacement player near the mid-way part of the tournament, should this be required.

‘We have made the decision to carry Travis through the early stages with the aim of him being available around the mid-part of the tournament.

‘He has been a really important player in this ODI team and we are hopeful his return can provide a positive impetus as it gets to the business end of the tournament.’

Australia have had other injury concerns in the lead up to the tournament, but both Mitchell Starc (groin) and Glenn Maxwell (ankle) returned in Wednesday night’s ODI win over India.

It means spinner Ashton Agar misses out on selection for the tournament

Matt Short and Tanveer Sangha, who have been part of the squads for the South Africa and India ODI tours will remain with the group in the lead up to the tournament.

The decision to leave Agar out of the squad and not replace him with a specialist spinner in Sangha does mean Australia have limited turners in India.

Maxwell will likely act as a second spinner to Adam Zampa in matches after taking 4-40 on Wednesday night, while Head is another spinning option once back fit.

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