Agar named as lone spinner in ODI squad


Australia have named a few fresh faces in their ODI squad to face England after the Ashes Tests conclude, with Ashton Agar the lone spinner, while uncapped Joe Burns and Marcus Stoinis have been called up.

Agar hasn't played international cricket in two years, the last of which was in the Ashes in 2013. In that series he played two Tests, scoring that memorable 98 on debut at Trent Bridge. He doesn't have an ODI cap though, and his inclusion means there's no place for Nathan Lyon.

Burns has been added as an opening batsman after his excellent recent form for the A-side, and will play in place of the injured Aaron Finch. Stoinis, a Victoria all-rounder, has also been with the A-side in India.

Steve Smith will skipper the side, with Michael Clarke retired. As for the wicketkeeping berth, given Brad Haddin's retirement after the World Cup, an old face returns in Matthew Wade.

Notable absentees are Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood, who will go home after the final Ashes Test and are being rested due to their efforts in the Tests. No such rest for Mitchell Starc though, Australia's key to winning the World Cup.

Chief selector Rod Marsh said of the picks: "The squad we have selected has a few fresh faces in it as well as some experienced players that will provide us with the right balance.

"Ashton has performed very well with the ball since his return from shoulder surgery including taking five wickets in the recent Australia A game in India. He has played in these conditions over here before and the National Selection Panel believes he has a very bright future.

"Joe has impressed us immensely over in India with Australia A. He is a very capable young batsman who has experience opening, and we think he will grab his opportunity with the white ball during this series.

Marcus has performed very well in India during the four-day series and we have always liked that option of the extra allrounder in our side, so with James Faulkner's unavailability, this is a great opportunity for Marcus."

Squad: Steve Smith (capt), Ashton Agar, George Bailey, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Shane Watson, David Warner, Cameron Boyce (T20I only)