Australia will have two new openers when they take field against Sri Lanka for the only T20I match of the series here on Friday.
Skipper Aaron Finch confirmed on Thursday that Josh Inglis is set to make his international debut at the Sydney Cricket Ground and will open with Ben McDermott. Finch himself will move down to No 3 as McDermott, the leading run-scorer in the 11th edition of the BBL takes David warner’s place at the top while Inglis replaces his Perth Scorchers teammate Mitchell Marsh.
Marsh and Warner have been rested from the series, while Travis Head is unavailable for the first three games as he plays Sheffield Shield cricket with South Australia, according to a report in www.cricket.com.au.
The selection of Inglis and McDermott is the only two changes in the playing eleven that won the T20 World Cup in November in Dubai.
Veteran Matthew Wade will continue to keep wickets in the T20 side with Inglis playing as a batter only.
Finch stressed Matthew Wade remains the side’s first-choice gloveman having starred in the World Cup semi-final, with him and Marcus Stoinis virtually winning a tight game off their own bats, the report said.
“Wadey’s the keeper, he did a fantastic job throughout the World Cup,” Finch told reporters on the eve of the series opener.
“We see that being his role, really nailing down that No.7 role going forward.”
Finch said McDermott gets a chance to show why he should be a long-term T20 opening successor to him and David Warner following the Hobart Hurricanes star’s dominant performance in BBL.
“Ben McDermott has been in unbelievable nick so to get him at the top of the order was really crucial for us,” Finch was quoted as saying.
“And Josh Inglis has been someone who has been shuffled around the order a little bit.
“(His selection) is a sign of how well he’s played over the last couple of years, but also how great he was around the group at the T20 World Cup.
“He hasn’t got the runs he would have liked throughout the Big Bash as he has done in the past. But he was playing slightly different roles. So it’s a great opportunity for him,” Finch said.
Australia Playing XI: Ben McDermott, Aaron Finch (c), Josh Inglis, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.