Moises Henriques was chosen ahead of batsmen including Usman Khawaja, Pete Handscomb, George Bailey and Cameron White – plus the allrounder James Faulkner – in an Australian Champions Trophy squad that also features recalls for James Pattinson and John Hastings.
The omission of Faulkner from an Australian ICC event squad for the first time since 2011 marks a major change for the selectors, who have also determined that Henriques is worth his place for his batting alongside the likes of Marcus Stoinis and Hastings.
Khawaja and Handscomb were both part of the ODI team over the summer, and the latter’s performance with the bat suffered notably when asked to keep wicket in New Zealand in place of the injured Matthew Wade.
Chris Lynn, who injured his shoulder in the IPL this week, and Mitchell Starc have been chosen subject to fitness assessments, meaning Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Pattinson all appear in a pace-laden squad six months out from a home Ashes series.
Trevor Hohns, the chairman of the selection panel, said Australia’s medical staff would monitor the fitness of Lynn and Starc – who has been out of action since he flew home halfway through Australia’s Test series in India with a stress fracture in his right foot – and hoped both would be fit by the time the team departed on May 18.
Pattinson, who last played an ODI in September 2015, has been in roaring form since his return from a long-term injury, taking 24 wickets at 17.41 for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield and carrying that form into the County Championship for Nottinghamshire, taking 13 wickets in two matches at 12.92. His inclusion gives Australia a wealth of genuine pace options, with Hastings’ return a nod to early English summer conditions.
“Both James and John have made very good returns from injury and are bowling well for their respective teams in the English County competition as well as both contributing well with the bat,” Hohns said.
“When you also add Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins to the fast bowling artillery it becomes a very exciting proposition for Australian cricket.”