Players told to make a claim for places in upcoming T20 World Cup.
Cricket Australia on Monday challenged its Twenty20 squad to use the England series to fight for a place in the side heading to the short format’s world championship.
Australia unveiled a 14-man squad for the three matches against England with George Bailey named captain after being dropped from the Test side to tour world number one South Africa next month.
All-rounder James Faulkner is the only member of the T20 squad to make the tour of the republic with selectors deciding to prioritise the Test side after the Ashes triumph.
The Test squad depart on January 29, the same day as England face Australia in Hobart in the first match of the 20-over format. Faulkner will join them after the T20 series.
“The ICC World Twenty20 is just around the corner and these and other players will come into contention for our 15-man squad for that tournament,” said chairman of selectors John Inverarity.
Australia will on February 16 name the 15-man squad for the World Twenty20 scheduled to be held in Bangladesh over March-April.
Left-arm quick Mitchell Starc was included in the squad as he recovers from a stress fracture in his back.
“Mitchell Starc has a fine record in international T20 cricket and is an important player in our ICC World Twenty20 campaign,” Inverarity said.
“It is anticipated that he will be ready to perform by the end of this month.”
Selectors also had their eye on 20-year-old spinner James Muirhead.
“The National Selection Panel is looking to develop spin bowling options for both the ICC World Twenty20 and the 2015 ICC World Cup,” to be held in Australia and New Zealand, Inverarity said.
“James Muirhead has impressed when he’s played against England. He is an exciting prospect as an emerging leg-spinner and will be looking to make the most of his opportunity.”
Australia T20 squad: George Bailey (capt), Aaron Finch (vice-capt), Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ben Cutting, James Faulkner, Josh Hazelwood, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, James Muirhead, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Cameron White.
T20 schedule v England:
Jan 29: Blundstone Arena, Hobart
Jan 31: Melbourne Cricket Ground
Feb 2: Sydney Olympic Park