Smith, Starc Out of Aus Tour; Expected Fit for ODI World Cup
Smith, Starc Out of Aus Tour; Expected Fit for ODI World Cup

MELBOURNE: In the upcoming tour of South Africa, Australia's key batsman Steve Smith and left-arm pace leader Mitchell Starc have been sidelined due to injuries – Smith's wrist and Starc's groin. Despite their absence from the South Africa tour, it is anticipated that both players will regain full fitness in time for the Men's ODI World Cup scheduled in India from October 5 to November 19. Consequently, Mitchell Marsh will step in as the captain for Australia's white-ball engagements in South Africa.

Starc's unavailability paves the way for the retention of uncapped left-arm fast bowler Spencer Johnson in the ODI section of the tour, following his earlier selection in the T20I squad. On the other hand, Smith's absence sees Marnus Labuschagne being included in the ODI squad, while Ashton Turner is named as Smith's replacement in the T20I squad.

It has come to light that Smith is currently nursing a tendon injury in his left wrist, which is anticipated to keep him out of action for approximately four more weeks. The report also states that Starc has been grappling with "groin soreness" following his participation in the WTC final and four out of five Ashes Tests in England. Notably, his current absence is unrelated to the shoulder injury he battled during the latter part of that tour.

The report on Friday underscored, "The tightly-packed Ashes series and the demands of the World Test Championship exerted a substantial toll on the team, prompting a cautious approach to the preparations for the World Cup." George Bailey, the head of the selection panel, emphasized, "Given the priority of the World Cup, it was collectively decided, based on advice, that Steve and Mitchell will join the squad in India, by which time we expect them to have fully recovered and be ready for the Indian ODI series as well as the World Cup warm-up fixture."

In terms of coaching appointments, Cricket Australia announced that Michael di Venuto will assume the role of head coach for the T20 leg of the South Africa tour. Assisting him will be former Australian fast bowler Clint McKay and Dan Marsh, who serves as an assistant to the Australian women's team.

Outlined below are the squads for the T20Is and ODIs:

Australia T20I Squad:

Captain: Mitchell Marsh
Squad: Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Aaron Hardie, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa
Australia ODI Squad:

Captain: Mitchell Marsh
Squad: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

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