Off-spinner Nathan Lyon along with experienced batsman Usman Khawaja and medium pacer Peter Siddle were recalled as Cricket Australia on Friday announced the 14-man squad for the upcoming One-day International (ODI) series against India starting from January 12. The selectors also axed five players including Travis Head, Chris Lynn, D'Arcy Short, Ben McDermott and all-rounder Ashton Agar after their poor run in the limited overs format. Pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were rested for the series to prepare for the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.
Lyon last featured in the ODIs in June, 2018 while Khawaja will be returning to the limited overs setup after almost a gap of two years. National selector Trevor Hohns, after Australia lost to South Africa 2-1 at the start of the summer, said that a change was needed to turn things around. Hohns also mentioned that the squad has been selected with an eye on the World Cup in England later this year.
"With this in mind and the World Cup looming, we've selected players we feel provide us with the flexibility to play a variety of roles at different stages of a match," Trevor Hohns said.
"The upcoming three-match series against India and the ODI tours of India and the UAE are important windows to put this into practice and to build a squad to help defend our World Cup title."
Seamer Siddle's return was a surprise. He played his last one-day international in November 2010, but gets another chance with the country's top fast bowlers unavailable. He will lead the attack alongside Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, and Billy Stanlake.
"It's wonderful to have Peter back in the squad for the first time since 2010," said Hohns.
"His white ball cricket has improved considerably the older he has got, and his selection is great reward for his professionalism and strong leadership qualities."
Khawaja returns after an almost two-year exile while Lyon replaces Agar after being overlooked for the recent South Africa series. Test players Mitch Marsh and Peter Handscomb were also included, with Aaron Finch the captain.
"With a focus on improving our ability to post competitive totals we've recalled Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb and Mitch Marsh to the squad," said Hohns.
"Usman is a batsman we know can put vital runs on the board at the top of the order, and Peter is not only a fine player of spin bowling, he's also a batsman we know can hold an innings together while keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
"Mitch gives us another all-round option with his ability with both bat and ball."
Australia play three one-dayers against India, starting in Sydney on January 12 before moving to Adelaide and Melbourne.
Australia's 14-man squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Jason Behrendorff, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa.
(With AFP Inputs)