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Blow to Australia as Kane Richardson ruled out of of ODI, T20 series

Pacer Kane Richardson. -Courtesy

MELBOURNE: The Australian team suffered a major blow on Tuesday when their most experienced pacer Kane Richardson was ruled out of the white-ball series against Pakistan due to injury.

According to Cricket Australia, left-armer Ben Dwarshuis has been included for the three-ODI (and one T20I) series in Lahore.

Richardson sustained the injury during training in Melbourne, it said.

As a result, Australia will field one of their most inexperienced pace attacks in more than 50 years of one-day international cricket.

It is to be noted that the trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins will be heading home after the final Test of the tour finishes on Friday, and while Richardson’s hamstring twinge is only considered minor, the Aussies decided it was not worth putting him on the plane for a series featuring four games in just eight days.

Jason Behrendorff, who has played only 11 ODI, will now be the de facto leader of a pace group completed by Sean Abbott (two ODIs), Nathan Ellis and now Dwarshuis (both yet to debut).

Spinners Adam Zampa (61 ODIs) and Ashton Agar (15) are old stagers by comparison, while the attack will also be bolstered by seam-bowling allrounders Cameron Green, Marcus Stoinis and Mitch Marsh.

According to a media report, the tour will be the fourth time in the past five years that Australia will embark on a one-day campaign without at least one of Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins in their squad, with two of those previous instances resulting in a 0-5 series defeat.

Aaron Finch confident of a good show in Pakistan

But captain Aaron Finch is confident he has the bowling cattle for what will be just the second ODI series Australia have played in the past 15 months.

“One thing that will help is the guys have played a lot of T20 cricket,” Finch said.

“They’re quite inexperienced for Australia but I think playing T20 cricket will help them in that regard. There’s a lot of skill in the group and guys that have been around one-day cricket for a long time domestically as well.

“Having a lot of a lot of faith in their own ability is really important.

“When you have got guys like Abbott, he’s been around (international cricket) for a long time, Behrendorff (as well) – they’ve played a lot of state cricket, so I think it’ll be fine.”

Pakistan ODI and T20 squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafique*, Asif Afridi, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq*, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Zahid Mahmood, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Saud Shakeel*, Shaheen Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir (*ODIs only)

Australia ODI and T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa

Schedule of ODI, T20I series

March 29: First ODI, Lahore

March 31: Second ODI, Lahore

April 2: Third ODI, Lahore

April 5: Only T20I, Lahore

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