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Warner to lead depleted Australia in T20 series

Australia send key men to South Africa for Test warm-up.

David Warner will captain a depleted Australia squad in the Twenty20 tri-series against England and New Zealand, with Steve Smith among those heading to South Africa for Test preparations.

By agreeing to a schedule which sees the T20 final take place just a day before the Test warm-up in Gauteng, Cricket Australia guaranteed it would not be possible to field a full-strength side in the Trans-Tasman series.

Warner is the only member of the Test squad named in the T20 group, meaning the likes of Smith, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Tim Paine will not have the chance to seek revenge for England’s victory in the one-day series.

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Instead, Australia will field a side heavy on the top performers from this year’s Big Bash.

Tournament top-scorer D’Arcy Short is set for his first international appearance following some devastating knocks for Hobart Hurricanes, and there are also calls for Chris Lynn, Alex Carey, Billy Stanlake and Kane Richardson.

Glenn Maxwell, a conspicuous absentee throughout the ODI campaign, also returns to Australia colours.

National selector Trevor Hohns said: “The South African Series is a very important one and we have made no secret of our desire to improve our record away from home. As such, we wanted to ensure the players had the best possible preparation and that means playing the tour match prior to the first Test.

“Steve has had a very big summer and will benefit from a short break both physically and mentally, before he leaves for South Africa. David is a very capable leader and has captained in Steve’s absence before and done a fine job. We wanted to ensure the T20 side had key leadership throughout this Series and we know the team is in good hands with him at the helm.”

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Cameron Bancroft has been retained in the Test squad despite a lean Ashes, Jhye Richardson has received a first call-up and Jon Holland a surprise recall.

Australia T20 squad: D Warner (c), A Finch, A Agar, A Carey (wk), B Dwarshuis, T Head, C Lynn, G Maxwell, K Richardson, D Short, B Stanlake, M Stoinis, A Tye, A Zampa.

Australia Test squad: S Smith (c), D Warner, C Bancroft, U Khawaja, P Handscomb, S Marsh, M Marsh, T Paine (wk), M Starc, J Hazlewood, P Cummins, N Lyon, J Bird, J Holland, J Richardson.

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