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Warner, Smith set for T20I return in series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan
Australia News

Warner, Smith set for T20I return in series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan

Steve Smith and David Warner have been recalled to Australia's 14-man T20 squad which will play against Sri Lanka and Pakistan across six short-form games later this month.

The duo, returning from a one-year ban owing to their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, will complete their comeback to the mainstream with the expected participation in the T20 series after they played in the World Cup and the Ashes earlier in the summer.

Smith's selection ahead of top-order batsman Usman Khawaja, however, is surprising given the former skipper's unimpressive record in T20 cricket with just 431 runs at an average of 21.55 in 30 matches.

The other intriguing omission from the side has been that of Marcus Stoinis, a regular in Australia's white-ball set-up.

"We are delighted to welcome Steve Smith and David Warner back into the T20 international fold," chief selector Trevor Hohns told reporters.

"Steve is a world-class batsman in all formats, while Warner is Australia's highest ever T20I run-scorer. He was also the leading run-scorer at this year's Indian Premier League with Sunrisers Hyderabad."

'We have selected the squad with the World Cup in mind'

Australia will first face Sri Lanka for three T20 games between October 27 and November 1 before taking on Pakistan for the three-match series commencing on November 3.

Hohns stressed that the upcoming two series were part of their preparations for the T20 World Cup next year, to be held in Australia.

"It is almost a year to the day until Australia hosts the men's Twenty20 World Cup and we have selected this squad with that in mind," he added.

"We have looked to put a squad together that we think can take us through to that tournament."

Australia are yet to lift the coveted T20 World Cup trophy after six editions.

The T20 side will be led by Aaron Finch with Alex Carey and Pat Cummins being named the two vice-captains.

Billy Stanlake, known for his hostile pace, is also back in the squad alongside batsman Ben McDermott.

Ashton Turner, who last turned up in Australian colours for the tour of India, has recovered from his finger injury to make his way into the side.

T20 squad

Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa