Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc To Miss South Africa Tour, Eye Comeback For India ODIs
Injured Australians Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc will miss the limited-overs tour of South Africa, but are expected to be active for the one-day international series in India ahead of the World Cup.
As reported by Cricket Australia, Australia skipper Pat Cummins is healing from a wrist fracture suffered during the Ashes in England, while Smith is nursing a tendon ailment on his left wrist that has sidelined him for four weeks.
Both will miss the three Twenty20 Internationals in South Africa from August 30 to September 3, which will be followed by five One-Day Internationals from September 7 to September 17.
The pair will be back for the three-match ODI series against India, which begins on September 22, along with left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Starc, who was also left out of the South Africa series.
Starc, who played a key role in Australia's 2-1 ODI series victory over India in March, returned from the Ashes with "groyne soreness" and a shoulder ailment.
Australia has added tall left-arm quick Spencer Johnson, who plays for Australia in T20Is, to their ODI team for South Africa.
"The compressed Ashes series and World Test Championship were a heavy load for the group, and we are taking a conservative approach in the lead-up to the World Cup," Australia's national selection panel chairman, George Bailey, said on Friday.
"With the World Cup (from October 5) being the priority of the squad, it was determined on advice that it was best for Steve (Smith) and Mitchell (Marsh) 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," Bailey added.
Mitchell Marsh, who was selected Australia's T20I captain for the series against South Africa, will lead the side in the five-match ODI series in Cummins' absence.
The three one-day internationals versus India will be held on September 22, 24, and 27 in Mohali, Indore, and Rajkot, respectively. They will serve as the Kangaroos' warm-up for the World Cup, which begins on October 5.