In what comes as a terrible blow to Australia, experienced campaigners such as Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc have been ruled out of the forthcoming tour of South Africa owing to injuries. Australia will fly to the rainbow nation to play a white-ball series which includes three T20Is followed by five ODIs. The tour begins with the T20I assignment, with the first game slated to begin on August 30, Wednesday in Durban.
Cricket Australia, on August 18, confirmed that Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc will not be a part of the upcoming tour. The Australian national cricket team went through too much workload of late. They were playing non-stop cricket this year including the ICC World Test Championship followed by the Ashes series. With the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 tournament scheduled to be held in the October-November window, Australia wants its best players to be fit and raring to play the main event in India.
Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc ruled out of white-ball tour of South Africa
Meanwhile, Australia’s best batsman, Steve Smith was said to be nursing a tendon injury that he picked up in his left wrist. As per the reports, he is expected to be out of cricketing action for at least a month. However, the Australian cricketer is said to turn up for the marquee event in India. Meanwhile, Marnus Labuschagne gets an opportunity to feature in the squad in the absence of Steve Smith for the ODI series against the Proteas.
The Australian selectors ignored Marnus from the 18-man squad for the ICC WC 2023. Nevertheless, the batsman now finds himself in the mix for a chance to feature in the tournament if he can pick up some good form in the upcoming tour. The right-handed batsman played 30 ODIs so far wherein he scored 847 runs at an average of 31.4 including 1 century and 6 half-centuries.
On the contrary, Ashton Turner will be replacing Steve Smith in the T20I squad. Mitchell Marsh will be leading the team from the front for both T20I and ODI series. As far as Mitchell Starc is concerned, he has been suffering from groin soreness ever since returning from England. Spencer Johnson will be replacing Starc for the ODI series as he set to embark on a new chapter with the Australian cricket team.
“With the World Cup the priority of the squad, it was determined on advice that it was best for Steve and Mitchell 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,” Australia’s national selection panel chair George Bailey added.