Massive setback for the Australian team as their mega stars get injured ahead of the World Cup in India. Australian stalwarts Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc will miss the limited-overs tour of South Africa due to injury, which slims their chances of the ODI World Cup 2023.
Australia captain Pat Cummins is recovering from a wrist fracture suffered during the Ashes in England, while Smith is nursing a tendon injury on his left wrist. Starc, who played a crucial role in Australia’s 2-1 ODI series victory against India in March, suffered “groin soreness” upon his return from the Ashes, where he also suffered a shoulder injury.
“The compacted Ashes series and the World Test Championship was a heavy load for the group, and we are taking a conservative approach in the build-up to the World Cup,” said Australia’s chairman of the national selection panel, George Bailey.
“With the World Cup (from October 5) the priority of the squad, it was determined on advice that it was best for Smith and Starc to join the group in India by which time we expect them to be fully fit and available for the Indian ODI series, plus the World Cup warm-up fixture,” Bailey added.
The trio will miss the three T20Is and five ODIs in South Africa from August 30 to September 17. Australia hopes the three players are fit enough to travel to India for a three-match ODI series late in September, followed by the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup that gets underway on October 5. The three ODIs against India will be played on September 22, 24, and 27 at Mohali, Indore, and Rajkot, respectively. They will serve as the Kangaroos’ preparation for the World Cup in India.
Replacements for the Injured Players:
To fill the void created by Smith’s unavailability, Marnus Labuschagne has been added to Australia’s ODI squad for the matches against South Africa. In Starc’s absence, fellow left-arm quick Spencer Johnson, who was picked originally in the T20 squad, is now in contention to be included in the ODI squad for the series against Proteas. In Cummins’ absence, Mitchell Marsh, who was earlier named Australia’s T20I captain for the series against South Africa, will also lead the side in the five-match ODI series.
Why did Labuschagne miss out on the World Cup squad?
Marnus Labuschagne was left out of Australia’s 18-player World Cup squad named earlier this month, with Bailey indicating a lack of consistency had cost him his spot. “We know Marnus at his best is good enough to hold down a spot in the one-day team, we just haven’t seen enough of it consistently in the role that we’d like him to do,” Bailey told reporters.
The Marnus exclusion from the squad surprises everyone. Australia have left out Marnus Labuschagne from their initial squad for the CWC 2023. The reason for that is his bad form in this format. In 28 innings, he averages 31.37 with a strike rate of 83.20. In Asia, his numbers drop further as his average slips to 28.91 and his strike rate to 77.45.
In Smith’s absence, Labuschagne has been added to Australia’s ODI squad for the series against South Africa. He is not currently scheduled to travel with the ODI squad to India but could yet force his way back into the discussion with performances in South Africa. Alternatively, he may be held in reserve, and selectors may opt to play backup keeper Josh Inglis as a batter.
Australia’s World Cup Campaign:
The World Cup is just around the corner, and fans eagerly await the plethora of thrilling encounters. Australian cricket hopes for the return of their key players like Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins ahead of the marquee event. Australia, known for its dominance in world cricket, has a rich history of success in the World Cup, making them strong contenders for the title once again. Australia will begin its World Cup campaign with the match against the hosts India on Sunday 8, October at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.