Melbourne: Australia has picked four fast bowlers — Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins — in its 15-man Champions Trophy squad while dropping allrounder James Faulkner, the man-of-the match from its triumph in the 2015 World Cup final against New Zealand.
Australian selector Trevor Hohns referred to the four quicks as a “fast-bowling artillery” and “a very exciting proposition for Australian cricket.”
Starc returned early from Australia’s tour of India with a stress fracture in his right foot, but Hohns said he was confident the left-arm opening bowler would be fit to play in the June 1-18 tournament in England.
Big-hitting batsman Chris Lynn, sidelined for two months recently with a neck/shoulder injury, was also included in the squad.
“Our medical staff will continue to monitor Mitchell and Chris’ recovery from their respective injuries, but we are hopeful they will be fit in time for the team’s departure on May 18,” Hohns said.
All-rounders Marcus Stoinis, Moises Henriques and John Hastings were also included in the squad to be captained by Steve Smith.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa was the only specialist slow bowler selected, although Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell offer off-spinning options.
Head and Aaron Finch are the likely contenders to open the batting with vice-captain David Warner.
Australia joins England, Bangladesh and New Zealand in Group A, while defending champion India is pooled with South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Group B.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.