Australia will be travelling to South Africa in March for a Test series and before that, will host New Zealand and England in the very first T20I tri-series next month.
Australia has included left arm spinner Jon Holland and fast bowler Jhye Richardson make it to the squad. Cricket Australia has also announced that apart from Steve Smith and David Warner, the entire Test squad will not be available for the T20I tri-series.
“Jon was the second leading wicket taker in the Sheffield Shield last season and has performed well in the games he has played for Victoria this season,” chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said in a statement.
30 year old Jon Holland has played two Tests for Australia in 2016 against Sri Lanka.
Hohns continued, “We envisage the wickets we will see in South Africa will not warrant the need to play two spinners. Therefore, should Nathan not be able to play at any stage, we wanted to have the best specialist spinner available to us and based on current red ball form Jon warrants that spot.”
On been asked about break for Steve Smith, Hohns said “Steve has had a very big summer and will benefit from a short break both physically and mentally, before he leaves for South Africa.”
“The South African series is a very important one and we have made no secret of our desire to improve our record away from home. As such, we wanted to ensure the players had the best possible preparation and that means playing the tour match prior to the first Test,” he added.
The T20I team will feature the uncapped players like D’Arcy Short and Ben Dwarshuis and will be led by David Warner.
The Test squad leaves for South Africa on Feb. 15, with the tri-series being played from Feb. 3-21.
“David is a very capable leader and has captained in Steve’s absence before and done a fine job. We wanted to ensure the T20 side had key leadership throughout this series and we know the team is in good hands with him at the helm,” Hohns said.
David Warner (captain), Aaron Finch, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa
Squad for South African tour:
Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc