Labuschagne dropped as bolters Hardie, Sangha earn World Cup call-ups

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Test star Marnus Labuschagne has been left out of Australia’s upcoming World Cup campaign in India as NSW legspinner Tanveer Sangha and West Australian all-rounder Aaron Hardie come into the frame for one-day international debuts leading into the showpiece event.

Labuschagne, ranked No.5 in the world in the game’s longest format – is the eye-catching casualty from Australia’s preliminary 18-man World Cup squad, named on Monday along with a T20 touring party heading to South Africa.

Tanveer Sangha has been selected in the ODI squad.Credit: Getty Images

Labuschagne’s one-day record has fallen well short of his heroics in the baggy green, with the Test No.3 averaging a tick under 25 in 15 ODI innings since the start of 2022 with a strike-rate in the low 70s as well.

His omission is one of few changes from Australia’s last limited-overs tour to India in March, while veteran all-rounder Glenn Maxwell (family leave) will miss the South African portion of Australia’s next road stint before joining the World Cup touring party in India.

The highly rated 21-year-old has toured previously with Australia’s T20 side but hasn’t played top level cricket in more than a year after back stress fractures sidelined him for all of last summer.

His selection is a nod to the reinforcements needed for frontline spinners Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar (who will miss the T20 component of Australia South African tour with a calf injury) on India’s slow, turning pitches.

As reported by this masthead, Test captain Pat Cummins has confirmed a six-week lay-off due to a fractured wrist sustained in the final Ashes Test, while fellow big guns Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Cameron Green and David Warner will all be rested from the three T20 fixtures scheduled in South Africa.

Cricket Australia has indicated the latter quartet will be available for the five ODIs that follow until mid-September, before another three 50-over games in India and warm-up matches before the World Cup in October.

“Pat injured his left wrist diving in the field on the first day at The Oval,” selection chairman George Bailey said. “He has an undisplaced fracture of his left radius which requires six weeks rehabilitation.

“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.”

With Cummins sidelined, Mitchell Marsh’s international renaissance continues as well after his recent Ashes heroics as he is named to lead Australia for the T20 tour – his first captaincy role at senior level.

CA is yet to appoint a long term white-ball captain following Aaron Finch’s retirement earlier this year, with Marsh’s nod coming less than a year out from the next T20 World Cup in the West Indies.

The 14-man T20 squad also includes Hardie, South Australian left-armer Spencer Johnson and hard-hitting Victorian all-rounders as first-time tourists.

Hardie’s inclusion for both the South African and Indian tours speaks to the esteem the 24-year-old West Australian is held in having averaged above 42 with the bat and below 30 with the ball from 26 first-class outings.

Glenn Maxwell’s absence from the ODI portion of the South African tour due to the birth of his first child offers Hardie the chance of a middle-order debut before Maxwell links once more with the squad in India.

Australia will play out a three-game ODI series in India in late-September before a final, 15-man World Cup squad is submitted on September 28.

Australia’s World Cup campaign starts on October 8 against the host nation in Chennai.

Australian ODI squad: Pat Cummins (NSW) (c), Sean Abbott (NSW), Ashton Agar (WA), Alex Carey (SA), Nathan Ellis (TAS), Cameron Green (WA), Aaron Hardie (WA), Josh Hazlewood (NSW), Travis Head (SA), Josh Inglis (WA), Mitchell Marsh (WA), Glenn Maxwell (VIC), Tanveer Sangha (NSW), Steve Smith (NSW), Mitchell Starc (NSW), Marcus Stoinis (WA), David Warner (NSW), Adam Zampa (NSW)

Australian T20 squad: Mitchell Marsh (WA) (c). Sean Abbott (NSW), Jason Behrendorff (WA), Tim David (WA), Nathan Ellis (TAS), Aaron Hardie (WA), Travis Head (SA), Josh Inglis (WA), Spencer Johnson (SA), Glenn Maxwell (VIC), Matt Short (VIC), Steve Smith (NSW), Marcus Stoinis (WA), Adam Zampa (NSW)

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