Aussie stars return as rookie earns T20 World Cup call-up
Finch (knee) and Smith (elbow) have been backed to return from injury for the tournament, with David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Pat Cummins and Kane Richardson also set to be back in action after sitting out the team's tours of the Caribbean and Bangladesh in July-August.
The return of the seven stars is a major boon for Australia as they chase their first Men's T20 World Cup trophy. The Australians have endured a lean time of late in T20 cricket, having lost each of their past five series. However, in the three most recent of those they have been unable to field a full-strength XI and will be hopeful the return of Warner and company sets them on the right course.
Among the 15-member squad, the most surprising name is Josh Inglis. Uncapped to this stage at the international level, Inglis is a wicketkeeper-batter adept at playing both as an opener and in the middle order. In serious form for the past 12 months across all three formats domestically, Inglis has leapfrogged both Alex Carey and Josh Philippe to the role of reserve keeper after both men featured in Austalia's tour of the Caribbean and Bangladesh.
“Josh has been on our radar for some time with his performances in white ball cricket and more recently in the Vitality Blast where he topped the run charts,” George Bailey, chair of selectors, said.
“He offers the squad flexibility in the batting order with his adaptability, counterattacking ability and power striking. He is a player we are excited about for the future.”
Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Alongside Warner, Finch, Smith, Maxwell and Stoinis, Australia's batting will be bolstered by Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade and Inglis.
Carey and Philippe were not the only notable omissions, with eight members from Australia's winter campaigns left out of the touring party, including Moises Henriques, Ashton Turner and Andrew Tye.
Cummins joins what looks a scintillating attack on paper, with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Kane Richardson all selected alongside spinners Adam Zampa, Ashton Agar and Mitchell Swepson.
All-rounders Dan Christian and Daniel Sams, and fast bowler Nathan Ellis have been named as travelling reserves.
“We are confident this squad has the ability to take the side deep into what will be an extremely competitive tournament," Bailey said.
“We have some of the best players in the world in their respective roles combined with the collective experience to succeed against the very best T20 sides in the world.”