SA v AUS 2023: Australia names playing XI for 1st T20I; Spencer Johnson, Matt Short, Aaron Hardie to debut

Australia to play 3 T20Is and 5 ODIs on tour of South Africa.

Spencer Johnson | Getty

Ahead of the first T20I of the three-match series between South Africa and Australia, which will be played on August 30, Australia confirmed that Mitchell Marsh’s first assignment as captain will see three uncapped players Spencer Johnson, Matt Short, and Aaron Hardie making their debuts.

Australia had announced a fresh-looking squad for the T20I series against Australia as many of their first-choice players were either facing injury concerns- Starc (groin), Pat Cummins, Steve Smith (both wrist) or were rested- Cameron Green, David Warner, Josh Hazlewood.

All three T20Is will be played in Durban on August 30, September 1 and 3.

Matt Short, one of the BBL sensations, will open the batting with Travis Head, while Mitch Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, along keeper Josh Inglis will bolster the middle order. Pacer all-rounder Aaron Hardie is listed at no.7, followed by Sean Abbott and Nathan Ellis.

Adam Zampa and Spencer Johnson complete the playing XI for the first T20I.

One of the players to look out for is Spencer Johnson, who is compared with Mitchell Starc for being a tall left-arm pacer. He saw a rapid ascent in recent months in short-form leagues in the USA, Canada, and the UK following a head-turning campaign for the Brisbane Heat.

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"It's probably come a little bit quicker than expected. He went through a lot of injury stuff earlier in his career, someone who bowls at high speed and can swing the new ball. He's done it over the last couple of tournaments now over the last couple of months.

His body is good, he's bowling fast, so hopefully he can be that guy for us at the top of the bowling innings, similar to someone like Starcy for us who can be a match-winner with taking wickets,” Travis Head said.  

Winning is important but you're not going to win a World Cup in South Africa, you're going to win it in India at the end of November … it's all about timing our run," Head further said.

Australia XI for first T20I v South Africa:

Matt Short, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh (c), Josh Inglis (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Aaron Hardie, Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Spencer Johnson

( inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 29 Aug, 2023

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