Labuschagne in for Agar as Australia finalise World Cup squad

Labuschagne in for Agar as Australia finalise World Cup squad

Cricket

Labuschagne is rewarded following his rich vein of form in ODI series against South Africa and India

SYDNEY (AFP) – Marnus Labuschagne has been drafted into Australia's Cricket World Cup squad with spinner Ashton Agar left out on Thursday after picking up a calf injury.

Labuschagne comes into the squad in the one change to the provisional 15-man group announced by Australia earlier this month as Travis Head keeps his place despite being ruled out for the start of the tournament after breaking his hand.

Five-time champions Australia will head to India with just one specialist spinner in Adam Zampa. Fellow leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha will stay with the squad until at least the end of the warm-up matches along with all-rounder Matt Short.

Labuschagne is rewarded following his rich vein of form in the recent ODI series against South Africa and India, averaging 60 across eight innings while scoring a century and two fifties.

He gives Australia extra batting cover in the absence of Head, whose left hand is expected to be in a cast for at least four more weeks.

"We have made the decision to carry Travis through the early stages with the aim of him being available around the mid-part of the tournament," said chief selector George Bailey.

"He has been a really important player in this ODI team and we are hopeful his return can provide a positive impetus as it gets to the business end of the tournament."

Agar played a key role in the first ODI against South Africa earlier this month but was ruled out of the next two matches with a calf injury before returning home for the birth of his child.

"This was a tough call but unfortunately, we couldn't carry both Travis and Ashton into the tournament with the injuries they have," said Bailey.

Australia, who last won the title in 2015, play hosts India in their opening game in Chennai on October 8.

Squad: Pat Cummins (capt), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
 




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