Australia’s World Cup Squad Excludes Sangha, Hopes High for Injured Players’ Return

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Despite a remarkable T20 debut series, leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha has surprisingly been excluded from the preliminary Australian World Cup squad, but stays within the team in South Africa as a potential candidate for inclusion should injuries require modifications.

The selectors have given their confidence to Ashton Agar, focusing on his ability to perform, despite limited preparation, because of a calf injury. They are also banking on the contribution of returning senior members Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith, both nursing ankle and wrist injuries respectively. The team’s anticipation builds for their opening game against India in Chennai, scheduled for October 8th.

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Captain Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, both nursing injuries, have also been selected. Despite neither participating in the imminent ODI series against South Africa, it is hoped that they will be available to play in the subsequent ODIs against India or the preparatory tournament games against the Netherlands and Pakistan.

Unfortunately for 21-year-old Sangha, his noteworthy performance in the South Africa T20 games didn’t secure him a spot in the squad. Even though he performed better than Adam Zampa in the final match, taking five wickets with an average of 14, the selectors decided to opt for the experience and left-arm variation of Agar.

Reassuringly, Agar confessed last week that he had been moving freely following a calf strain, which had interrupted his role during the T20 segment of the tour. He expressed confidence in his ability to give his best performance during the World Cup, despite limited match practice.

Sean Abbott has secured his place in his first World Cup, beating out Nathan Ellis as the fourth specialist fast bowler. The Australian strategy leans toward a squad heavily populated with all-rounders, including Mitch Marsh, Cameron Green, and Marcus Stoinis.

However, world-class Test batter Marnus Labuschagne has once again been overlooked, despite being drafted into the Australian squad for the South Africa series. Josh Inglis has been set as the sole reserve top-order player and backup keeper in the squad.

According to George Bailey, chair of selectors, Australia’s injured players are poised to make their returns. They could potentially face India in the later matches this month. He assured that the final squad confirmation will be completed after that series. Bailey is optimistic about the progress of the injured players, and anticipates their potential inclusion in the forthcoming matches against India.

Consequently, there are eight one-day matches to be contested in South Africa and India before the final squad announcement. Following these matches, two World Cup practice games will provide an escalating wave of opportunities for the team.