Selectors announced Thursday that Australia’s complete first-choice bowling attack will sit out the inaugural Twenty20 match against England this weekend in order to rotate the team and ensure peak World Cup fitness. Glenn Maxwell, a powerful hitter, and the fast bowlers Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood won’t play on Sunday in Perth along with spinner Adam Zampa.
Instead, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson, and Nathan Ellis are back in the lineup for Australia’s final game before the World Cup kicks off on October 16 at home. For the second and third England games in Canberra the following week, Zampa, Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins, and Maxwell will all be available. “The high-performance team and selectors have planned these matches to ensure our squad get to the World Cup fresh and ready to perform,” chairman of selectors George Bailey.
“Some squad members travelled to Perth early to begin preparations slightly earlier than the main squad and a handful of others will not make the trip to Perth.” Australia, the defending champion, and the West Indies are now engaged in two Twenty20 matches in Queensland. They won the opening game by three wickets on Wednesday, and then on Friday, before their five-hour travel to Perth, they won the second match.