Pace bowler Mitchell Starc and allrounders Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis withdrew Wednesday from Australia’s tour to India because of injuries and will instead prepare at home for the Twenty20 World Cup title defense.
Starc played a leading role in Australia’s one-day international series wins over Zimbabwe and top-ranked New Zealand in north Queensland state over the last month but has complained of a knee problem.
Stoinis withdrew from the last ODI against New Zealand because of a side strain, and Marsh missed the series because of an injured ankle.
They will be replaced in the squad by Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams, and Sean Abbott for the three T20 internationals on Sept. 20, 23, and 25.
“Selectors felt with three games in six days across three cities, including travel to India and internally, Marsh, Stoinis and Starc are best served remaining in Australia to prepare for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup,” Cricket Australia said in a statement. Opening batter David Warner had already been rested from the tour.
Aaron Finch retired from one-day cricket after last Sunday’s win over New Zealand but will continue to lead the Australian T20 squad for the India series and the World Cup, which starts with first-round matches on Oct. 16.
“He’ll certainly enjoy having these games in India; he enjoys batting there,” allrounder Glenn Maxwell said Wednesday. “He was brilliant with the strategy side of things — it’s a very underrated thing in T20.
“Don’t discount his value as captain.”
India is ranked No. 1 in T20 cricket, and Australia has slipped to sixth, despite winning the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates last year.
Australia will start its title defense in a final rematch against New Zealand on Oct. 22 in Sydney. India will open the World Cup against arch-rival Pakistan on Oct. 23.