Despite a wrist fracture, Cummins is expected to be ready for the ODI World Cup
Due to a fractured wrist suffered in the final Ashes Test, Australia’s one-day captain Pat Cummins faces a six-week absence from action, but he should be able to participate in some of the ODIs in South Africa and India before the World Cup in October.
The injury to Cummins’ left wrist occurred after a diving catch on the first day of the fifth Test at The Oval. Since being named captain last year, he has only captained two ODIs. He finished the Test but will miss the five-match ODI series that starts on September 7 and the three T20I matches that start on August 30 in South Africa due to an extended recuperation period.
Marnus Labuschagne, who has featured in each of Australia’s last nine ODIs and 30 over the past three years, is notably absent from the ODI roster for the next tours and the World Cup.
The two fresh additions to the 18-player roster are all-rounder Aaron Hardie of Western Australia and leg spinner Tanveer Sangha of fresh South Wales. Although neither has played for their country yet, they now have a chance to compete for a spot in the World Cup final group.
Due to a stress fracture in his back, Sangha has not played any professional cricket since August of last year, but he has previously toured New Zealand with an Australia T20 squad. In addition to being picked to the T20I squad for the South Africa series, Hardie has been a fixture in Australia A squads over the past 18 months.
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Cameron Green, David Warner, and Ashton Agar all missed the T20I leg of the trip before joining for the ODIs, therefore Mitchell Marsh has been selected captain for the T20I series against South Africa.
Due to paternity leave, Glenn Maxwell will miss the South Africa ODI series that comes after the T20Is, but he will return to the team for their three-match series against India in India that begins on September 22 and ends right before the 50-over World Cup.
Prior to the opening ODI in Bloemfontein, Cummins will fly to South Africa, but it is unlikely that he will be able to play in that first game given the severity of his left wrist injury.
One of several potential captains for the ODI team in Cummins’ absence is Marsh. When Cummins was missing due to the passing of his mother during the most recent ODI series Australia played in March in India, Steven Smith served as the team’s captain.
Hazlewood and Alex Carey have both captained the Australian ODI team, and Hazlewood also did so in a game against England at the SCG last November.
Given his intense workload during the Ashes, chair of selectors George Bailey views Cummins’ injury as a positive and was sure that he had enough games to prepare for the World Cup, with Australia’s opening game on October 8.
“He has an undisplaced fracture of his left radius which requires six weeks rehabilitation,” Bailey said. We expect him to join the squad during the South African ODI series. We view a period of enforced rest for Pat as a positive ahead of this important World Cup campaign.
“There are still a number of games he could play before the World Cup which is more than enough for him to have a strong preparation.”
The one significant exclusion from Australia’s World Cup plans is Labuschagne, who has been a fixture in the ODI squad for the previous three years.
Despite a promising start to his career, which included a century against South Africa in just his sixth encounter in Potchefstroom in 2020, he has found it difficult to establish himself in the middle of the order. In his last 14 ODI innings, Labuschagne averaged just 22.30, scoring at 69.87 with just two half-centuries.
“We know Marnus at his best is good enough to hold down a spot in the one-day team, we just haven’t seen enough of it consistently in the role that we’d like him to do,” Bailey said. “Leading into the World Cup, there’s some opportunities for others to get a bit more game time. We’ve been really clear with Marnus, he’s going to be part of some Australia A games around the same time so he can focus on some white-ball cricket.”
Australian ODI squad: Pat Cummins (capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa