Batsman Chris Lynn has been ruled out of the remainder of Australia's ODI series against Pakistan and the upcoming Chappell-Hadlee Series in New Zealand due to a neck injury. However, the Australians are hopeful that Lynn will recover in time to be part of the Twenty20 side to take on Sri Lanka in mid-February, when the Test players will already be in India.
Lynn made his ODI debut on his home ground at the Gabba in the first game against Pakistan last Friday, but was ruled out of the second match in Melbourne due to an aggravation of his existing injury. The sidelining of Lynn comes at an unfortunate time for the batsman, who had lit up the Big Bash League with the Brisbane Heat and had a chance to make a one-day spot his own.
"He's obviously been playing in a lot of pain, even through the BBL," Australia's coach Darren Lehmann said ahead of the second ODI against Pakistan in Perth. "It's just got to the stage where he can't function anymore.
"He's got a couple of weeks with really no cricket, light duties … a little bit of physical stuff but nothing weight-bearing. He's got to calm down the neck - it's quite aggravated. He'll start his rehab as of now, but he won't be doing too much strenuous stuff before hopefully getting back for the Sri Lankan series."
As a result of Lynn's absence, Peter Handscomb will make his ODI debut at the WACA on Thursday, having been added to the squad. Although Handscomb has averaged just 23.83 in the past two years in List A cricket, his outstanding form when stepping into the Test line-up this summer - he is yet to be dismissed for less than 50 in a Test innings - encouraged the selectors to look to him again.
"He's done really well, he's been outstanding," Lehmann said of Handscomb. "A good reward for a good summer. We want four quality batters going at the top, so he'll get his chance there ... That number four spot is there and Peter has done a really good job for us in the Test matches, so he gets another crack at it.
"He played a very good one-day sort of innings for us in the Sydney Test match, where we scored quite quickly. He's got all the shots and he's quite innovative. But if we lose early wickets he can consolidate from there."
Handscomb's inclusion for Mitchell Marsh, who hurt his shoulder during Australia's loss at the MCG, is one of two changes to the XI. Mitchell Starc has been rested for the third match, with fast bowler Billy Stanlake set to return to the side after making his debut in the first game at the Gabba.
"He's tall and he's got some bounce, so we think he'll be quite effective here," Lehmann said of Stanlake. The teams head into the Perth ODI level at 1-1 in the five-game series, after Pakistan's win in Melbourne ended a stretch of 16 consecutive losses to Australia in Australia across all formats.
Australia XI for Perth ODI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (capt), Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade (wk), James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Billy Stanlake.