Aussies name rockstar team for opening Zimbabwe ODI as big name misses out

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Australia's David Warner (R) and captain Aaron Finch will open the batting against Zimbabwe. Photo: AFP

Townsville – Australia aren’t mucking about for their series against Zimbabwe, starting Sunday in Townsville.

Aaron Finch confirmed a close to full strength side for their series opener against the African side, who are touring Australia for the first time since 2003-04.

Finch will open up alongside David Warner, while Steve Smith has been included too.

Wicket-keeper Alex Carey has moved up to second-drop with Australia opting for an all-round heavy middle-order including Mitch Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Smith.

The decision meant Marcus Labuschagne has missed out.

“The reasoning behind Marnus (missing out) is we’re just going with an all-rounder-heavy side,” Finch told reporters on Saturday.

“Two quicks plus Zampa and Cameron Green as the fourth genuine bowler. And then using Marsh, Stoinis, Maxwell as our fifth bowler effectively.

“It’s a way of lengthening our batting, and I think it’s important we keep trying to juggle the structure of the team around a bit over the next little while.

“We don’t want to get pigeonholed into playing in one particular structure of team.

Finch highlighted Carey’s all-round strength and said it provided the Australian team flexibility.

“(Carey’s) versatility is really important,” Finch said.

“What we’ve seen with how Zimbabwe structure up is they go spin-heavy through the middle overs so we feel like that’s a real strength of Alex’s.

“To be able to have the power of Stoinis, Marsh, Maxwell and Green at five, six, seven and eight is really important as well.

“And we feel like that gives us the freedom as a batting group to be aggressive as well.”

Australia XI for first ODI: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steve Smith, Alex Carey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

Men’s ODI Series v Zimbabwe (All Zimbabwe times)

Sunday Aug 28: Riverway Stadium, Townsville, 1:40 am

Wednesday Aug 31: Riverway Stadium, Townsville, 1:40 am

Saturday Sep 3: Riverway Stadium, Townsville, 1:40 am

Australia squad: Aaron Finch, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Zimbabwe squad: Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva (c), Bradley Evans, Luke Jongwe, Innocent Kaia, Takudzwanashe Kaitano, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Tony Munyonga, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams.

 

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