News

Cummins set to be fit for ODI World Cup despite wrist fracture

Marnus Labuschagne has been dropped from the one-day squad; Tanveer Sangha and Aaron Hardie included

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
07-Aug-2023
Australia's one-day captain Pat Cummins faces a six-week layoff due to a fractured wrist sustained in the final Ashes Test but should be available to play some of the ODIs in South Africa and India ahead of the World Cup in October.
Cummins, who has so far only captained two ODIs since being named captain last year, suffered the injury to his left wrist while diving in the field during day one of the fifth Test at The Oval. He played out the remainder of the Test but requires a lengthy recovery and will miss the three-match T20I series in South Africa that begins on August 30, preceding the five-match ODI series that begins on September 7.
Marnus Labuschagne is the big omission from Australia's ODI squad for the upcoming tours and the World Cup having played in each of Australia's last nine ODIs and 30 across the last three years.
New South Wales legspinner Tanveer Sangha and Western Australia allrounder Aaron Hardie are the new inclusions in the 18-player squad. Both are yet to make their international debut but now have a chance to push for the final World Cup group.
Sangha has not played any professional cricket since August last year due to a stress fracture in his back but has toured New Zealand with an Australia T20 squad previously. Hardie has been a regular in Australia A squads in the last 18 months and has also been named in the T20I squad for the South Africa series.
Mitchell Marsh has been named captain for the T20I series against South Africa with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Cameron Green, David Warner and Ashton Agar all missing the T20I leg of the tour before joining for the ODIs.
Glenn Maxwell will miss the South Africa ODI series following the T20Is due to paternity leave but will rejoin the squad for their three-match series against India in India that starts on September 22 and runs immediately into the 50-over World Cup.
Cummins will fly to South Africa ahead of the first ODI in Bloemfontein but given the timeframe on his left wrist it is unlikely he will be available for that first match.
Marsh is one of a number of candidates who could captain the ODI side in Cummins' absence. Steven Smith led the side during the last ODI series Australia played in March in India when Cummins was absent following the death of his mother. Hazlewood also captained Australia in one game against England at the SCG last November while Alex Carey has also previously captained the ODI team.
Chair of selectors George Bailey sees Cummins' injury as a positive given his heavy workload during the Ashes and was confident there were enough games for him to prepare ahead of the World Cup, with Australia's first match on October 8.
"He has an undisplaced fracture of his left radius which requires six weeks rehabilitation," Bailey said. We expect him to join the squad during the South African ODI series. We view a period of enforced rest for Pat as a positive ahead of this important World Cup campaign.
"There are still a number of games he could play before the World Cup which is more than enough for him to have a strong preparation."
Labuschagne is the only notable omission from Australia's World Cup plans after being a regular in the ODI team over the past three years. But having made a strong start to his career, including scoring a century in just his sixth match against South Africa in Potchefstroom in 2020, he has struggled to bed down his place in the middle order. Labuschagne averaged just 22.30 in his last 14 ODI innings, striking at 69.87 with only two half-centuries.
"We know Marnus at his best is good enough to hold down a spot in the one-day team, we just haven't seen enough of it consistently in the role that we'd like him to do," Bailey said. "Leading into the World Cup, there's some opportunities for others to get a bit more game time. We've been really clear with Marnus, he's going to be part of some Australia A games around the same time so he can focus on some white-ball cricket."
Australia will trim their 18-man squad to 15 in early September but changes can be made up to September 28.
Australian ODI squad: Pat Cummins (capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo