Stoinis misses out as Maxwell returns for Australia's South Africa tour

By Sports Desk February 03, 2020

Marcus Stoinis has been overlooked for Australia's limited-overs series in South Africa, while Glenn Maxwell was named in both the ODI and Twenty20 squads.

Stoinis was crowned the Big Bash League player of the tournament, but missed out on selection despite his 612 runs at an average of 55.63 for the Melbourne Stars during the 2019-20 campaign.

The 30-year-old will be on standby for both the ODI and T20 squads, who will each play three matches against South Africa in February and March.

"Marcus Stoinis is a standby player for each squad and was unlucky to miss out due to the makeup of the current top order," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement on Tuesday.

"It is terrific to have a backup player of his calibre in such good form.

"Of course there are other unlucky omissions which is always the case when selecting these squads."

Maxwell returns after his exclusion from the ODI squad for last month's matches against India, who won the series 2-1.

Mitchell Marsh, Jhye Richardson and Sean Abbott have also returned, the latter duo only part of the T20 squad.

"These are two very well-balanced squads with a focus on the specific skills each individual offers in their respective roles. The squads include returning players Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh, Jhye Richardson and Sean Abbott," Hohns said.

"It is fantastic to have Glenn back in both squads given his brilliant form in the middle order for the Stars along with his results with the ball. Glenn was one of the first picked in the most recent T20 team at the start of the summer, prior to his break from the game.

"The same can be said for Mitch. He has been in tremendous touch with the bat for the Scorchers since his return from injury and is now back bowling well. His performances warranted inclusion in the area he operates as a powerful middle-order batsman and handy bowler.

"Jhye Richardson also returns to the T20 side from injury with his performances demanding inclusion. He is a terrific young player who has been sensational in all forms of the game; and is an extremely strong fieldsman.

"Matthew Wade is also in red hot form with the bat. He is a very strong fielder; and a great person to have in any team. He can also substitute as wicketkeeper if required."

The T20 series begins in Johannesburg on February 21 before the ODIs start eight days later.

Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

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    The Black Caps restricted Australia to 142-8 from their 20 overs after the visitors won the toss and elected to bat in Wellington, with Ish Sodhi taking 3-24.

    Guptill (71 from 46 balls) eased any anxiety about a smaller run chase on a pitch being used for the third time this series, with New Zealand claiming victory with 27 balls to spare.

    New Zealand's successful chase bucked the series trend of the side batting first winning every game.

    Australia captain Aaron Finch said: "We probably just weren't aggressive enough with the bat. We probably let them dictate slightly, but we didn't get enough runs and kept losing wickets at regular intervals.

    "A couple of us put a fair bit of time into our innings, 20, 30, 40 balls and then to not go on with that it was probably the difference in the game. If one of us gets 60 or 70, that might be a 160-170 score and then you're a couple of good power-play overs away from really squeezing."

    Sodhi was named as the player of the series, finishing with 13 wickets at an average of 12.07 across five games.

    The win was set up by a disciplined bowling display led by Sodhi, while Trent Boult (2-26 with 10 dot balls) did early damage, Mitchell Santner (0-21 with 10 dots) was tight and Tim Southee (2-38 with eight dots) restricted Australia at the death.

    Boult trapped Josh Philippe lbw early before Finch (36 from 32 balls) and Matthew Wade (44 from 29 balls) put together a 66-run second-wicket stand.

    Finch, who came under pressure earlier in the series after a poor run of form on the back of the Big Bash League, managed one six and five fours during his knock, while Wade hit two maximums and three fours.

    Sodhi got the breakthrough with Finch slicing to Santner at point, leaving Australia 74-2 after 10 overs before the innings fell away, with Glenn Maxwell falling for one, Ashton Agar for six and Mitchell Marsh for 10.

    Australia lost 68-6 in the final 10, including being restricted to 36-4 from the last five overs, battling an inconsistent pitch and tight New Zealand bowling.

    Devon Conway (36 from 28) and Guptill combined for a 106-run opening partnership in the chase, before Glenn Phillips (34 not out from 16) finished the job.

    Guptill blasted four sixes and seven fours in his knock, going at a strike rate of 154.35.

    Riley Meredith (2-39) took two wickets in two balls, with Conway caught in the deep by Agar and Kane Williamson trapped lbw for a golden duck, but it was too little, too late.

    The defeat compounds a bad 24 hours for the Aussies, after India's Test win over England on Saturday confirmed Australia would miss the Test Championship final.

    Black Caps captain Williamson said: "Incredibly hard-fought series and momentum shifts throughout. Then to finish with three games on a surface, try and get a read on it was a real challenge."

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    The brilliant Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin took five wickets apiece to bowl England out for only 135 in their second innings and secure a place in the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand.

    England face a home series versus India before travelling to Australia for the Ashes in a hectic schedule this year.

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    The skipper said: "It's easy to look at selection in hindsight when things haven't gone our way. It's obviously something that will be looked at. At times the wickets may not have played as we thought they would have.

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  • Axar and Ashwin rout England as India trounce tourists in series finale Axar and Ashwin rout England as India trounce tourists in series finale

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    The relentless Indian spin cycle has left England a ragged shadow of the team that coasted to a 227-run win in the first Test, and it was fitting the series should end with Axar and Ravichandran Ashwin running amok, taking five wickets each.

    The third Test was a two-day shock to the tourists' senses, while England headed into day three of this latest match in Ahmedabad knowing it would take something special to stave off one final heavy beating.

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    Dan Lawrence and Ben Foakes took England past the 100 mark before a sharp low catch at slip by Ajinkya Rahane saw Foakes perish for 13 to Axar, whose fifth wicket of the innings arrived when Dom Bess mistimed a heavy-duty sweep and edged behind to Pant.

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    Axar makes startling Test impact

    With 27 wickets in his first three Tests, Axar has made a breathtaking start at this level, with the left-arm spinner bamboozling England's batsmen time and again. Fellow Indian Narendra Hirwani holds the record for the most wickets in the first three outings of a Test career, having taken 31 in 1988, including 16 on his debut against West Indies. Unlike Hirwani, who was 19 years old when he broke into the team, Axar has been around the block several times in his career, playing 49 limited-overs games for India. Now the 27-year-old has a foothold in the Test team, watching his progress will be fascinating. The World Test Championship final now awaits India, with New Zealand to be their opponents.

    Dismal trip for England batsmen

    There are question marks over a number of players after this series. Sibley began with 87 but then had seven successive failures and averaged 16.75, while Pope, Crawley and Rory Burns all averaged less than 20. Bairstow's dismal effort with the bat meant he averaged just 7.00.

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