BRISBANE: Chris Lynn and Billy Stanlake will make their limited overs debut for Australia in Friday’s opening One-day International against Pakistan in Brisbane.
Skipper Steve Smith said on Thursday dynamic batsman Lynn and beanpole pace bowler Stanlake would start with Usman Khawaja and leg-spinner Adam Zampa left out of the first of five games against the visitors this month.
Lynn has appeared in five T20 Internationals for Australia but will play international 50-over cricket for the first time while Stanlake will debut despite having played just four one-dayers for Queensland.
Travis Head will open the batting alongside David Warner in the absence of the dumped Aaron Finch, with Lynn to bat at number four.
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell also returns for the first time in 13 matches, with the Australians opting for a pace attack of Stanlake, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins as well as medium-paced all-rounders James Faulkner and Mitchell Marsh.
Test bowler Josh Hazlewood is being rested from the opening ODI after a heavy schedule this season.
Smith said he expected right-hander Lynn to play with the same freedom he has shown for the Brisbane Heat in the Twenty20 Big Bash League.
“He’s got a licence to play the way he wants to play,” Smith told reporters. “But 50 overs is a long time so you’ve also got be a bit smarter with the way you play, but he’s got some freedom to go out and play nice and positively.
“He’s been in red hot form and hopefully he can bring that to the international stage.
The elevation of Head to the top of the order has come at the expense of Khawaja, who has returned to the ODI squad but won’t play on Friday.
It also means Zampa, the leading ODI wicket-taker in the world in 2016, misses out with Head and Maxwell to carry the spin-bowling workload.
“I think looking around the squad, Maxwell was in the last group and it was good to get him into the line-up,” Smith said. “And Travis Head played very well in the last ODI series and we’ve seen him play very well at the top of the order. We’ve got plenty of power down the order.”
Stanlake, 22, has battled serious injuries over the years and has been restricted to just 13 matches in all formats at domestic level.
Smith said he had been watching the towering paceman — Stanlake stands 2.04 metres tall (6ft 7in) — playing for the Adelaide Strikers in the BBL and was looking forward to him partnering Starc and Cummins.
“I think he’s going to be the tallest player to play for Australia so it’s great having those kinds of guys in the team,” he said. “He bowls with good pace and it looks like he bowls with good control as well so it’s a good opportunity for him.”
Meanwhile, Sarfraz Ahmed has become the second Pakistan player forced to return home this week in a troubled lead-up to Friday’s opening one-dayer.
Captain Azhar Ali confirmed on Thursday that his team will be without their vice-captain and wicket-keeper for the series opener at the Gabba and possibly this month’s entire five-match series.
Azhar said Sarfraz had flown back home to be with his mother, who is in a Karachi hospital.
Mohammad Rizwan will take the gloves for the first day-night match and could remain in the side if Sarfraz does not return to Australia.
The news comes just days after fast bowler Mohammad Irfan also left the team following the death of his mother.
“We’ll definitely miss Sarfraz tomorrow Friday. Hopefully, he can rejoin the team but, as for right now, he’s not here,” Azhar told reporters.
Pakistan have retained half the players who were involved in 3-0 Test series whitewash to Australia for the ODI part of their tour.
Azhar said the addition of some new faces and Tuesday’s 196-run thumping of a Cricket Australia XI in a one-day practice game in Brisbane had helped lift the team’s mood.
“I know it wasn’t a very competitive game, but I still believe the batsmen who scored runs will get a lot of confidence,” he said. “The bowlers had a good outing as well. There’s nothing like playing matches. It’s good to be out there no matter what sort of team you play against.”
Pakistan’s need for victories is even more urgent given they are currently the eighth-ranked one-day nation in the world, three rankings points ahead of the West Indies.
If they drop out of the top eight by September, they’ll miss out on automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup and be forced to enter a 10-team qualifying tournament in Bangladesh in 2018.
Australia can extend their lead in the ODI rankings if they can pull off a series whitewash.
Australia lead Pakistan 33-16 head-to-head in Australia, including 15 wins in 19 ODIs this decade.
AUSTRALIA: David Warner, Travis Head, Steve Smith (captain), Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Billy Stanlake.
Pakistan (from): Azhar Ali (captain), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Asad Shafiq, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Nawaz.
Umpires: Mick Martell (Australia) and Chettithody Shamshuddin (India).
TV umpire: Chris Gaffaney (New Zealand).
Match referee: Jeff Crowe (New Zealand).
Courtesy : Dawn News