Why? Steve Smith to open in T20Is? Selector reveals Australia's big T20 World Cup 2024 plan starting with SA series
Australia's change in T20Is started when the team for the upcoming three-match series against South Africa was announced. Mitchell Marsh has been named the new captain of the T20I team for the South Africa series, which will be Australia's first game since the T20 World Cup 2022. This was Aaron Finch's last tournament as captain.
Most of the top players for the World Cup, like captain Pat Cummins, David Warner, and Mitchell Starc, were given extra rest before the ODI series. However, Steve Smith was given a chance in the smallest format. Smith, who is usually known for being reliable in ODIs and Tests, lit up the 2022-23 Big Bash League with some great shots in the five games he played.
Smith scored 346 runs in only five games, including two centuries and a huge 174. Chief selector George Bailey said that Australia will try him out as an opener in South Africa T20Is, with an eye on the T20 World Cup next year in the West Indies and the USA.
"He'll open in South Africa, and I guess he's the only one of those players who can play in different formats who is going across, so we wanted to give him this chance," Bailey said on Monday, August 7, when he announced the team. "His time in the Big Bash was pretty exciting, and it showed off his skills and what he can do.
"The way he played in the Big Bash is something we want to see around the world, so it's important for him to get a chance to do that. He was really excited to come over and join in," he said.
Australia put three players on the T20 team who have never played for their country before. They hope to give a good South African team a run for their money.
Australia squad for SA T20Is: Mitchell Marsh (C), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Aaron Hardie, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa