Fast bowler Shaun Tait has been recalled by Australia after an absence of almost five years for the three-match Twenty20 series against India later this month. (Virat Kohli’s Ton Goes in Vain, Glenn Maxwell Helps Australia Take Unbeatable 3-0 Lead)
The 32-year-old Tait last played for Australia at the World Cup in India in 2011, but has earned his recall after taking 10 wickets in eight matches for the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League.
Uncapped fast bowler Andrew Tye was also included in the 17-man squad named on Monday as the Australia selectors consider options ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in India in March.
Tye has taken 13 wickets in eight matches for the Perth Scorchers at an economy rate of 6.79.
Spinner Nathan Lyon has also been named in the Twenty20 squad and in the Australia team for the last two matches of the India one-day series.
The inclusion of Tait and Tye comes as the Australia selectors continue to plumb a deep well of fast bowling talent after the retirement of Mitchell Johnson and injury to Mitch Starc. Joel Paris and Scott Boland have been handed debuts during the one-day series against India while Kane Richardson and John Hastings have won recalls.
Tait’s return continues the selectors’ emphasis on outright pace.
“Shaun Tait returns on the basis that he is the quickest bowler going around in Australia at the moment and he offers us that explosive option if we choose to use it,” chairman of selectors Rod Marsh said.
-No Place for Mitchell Marsh or George Bailey-
The selectors have found no place in the enlarged squad for former Twenty20 captain George Bailey, who has been in stellar form during the one-day series and in the Big Bash League, or for allrounder Mitch Marsh.
“Sadly we could not find places for George Bailey and Mitchell Marsh in the Twenty20 international squad but for both of them, and for others who have missed out on places in that lineup, the door is certainly not closed for selection for the ICC World Twenty20,” Marsh said.
“We know what both those players are capable of and both have significant experience of playing Twenty20 cricket in India where the ICC World Twenty20 takes place. But we want them to continue to press their cases for inclusion while we take this opportunity to look at other contenders.”
–Shane Watson Included in Twenty20 Squad-
Allrounder Shane Watson has also been recalled to the Twenty20 squad only days after his omission from previous squads led him to suggest his international career may be over.
At 34, Watson is Australia’s leading wicket-taker in Twenty20 internationals.
“Shane Watson has earned his recall to Australian colors through a combination of his experience — especially in short-form cricket — the all-round package he offers and the fact he is bang in form at the moment, having put performances on the board for the Sydney Thunder,” Marsh said.
Lyon has yet to play a Twenty20 international but has been named alongside incumbent spinner Cameron Boyce.
Hard-hitting top-order batsman Chris Lynn has been named after becoming the leading run-scorer in the BBL this season with 378 in eight games at a strike rate of 173.39. Adelaide Strikers batsman Travis Head has also won a call-up on his form in the Big Bash League: he has hit 20 sixes this season, second only to Lynn’s league-leading 27.
Lyon has also been recalled to the Australia one-day squad for the concluding matches of the five-match series against India. He replaces Joel Paris, while opening batsman David Warner returns from paternity leave at the expense of Usman Khawaja.
One-Day Squad for last two matches: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, George Bailey, Scott Boland, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Matthew Wade.
Twenty20 squad: Aaron Finch (captain), David Warner, Steve Smith, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Shaun Marsh, Cameron Boyce, Nathan Lyon, Chris Lynn, Travis Head, Kane Richardson, Andrew Tye, Scott Boland, Shaun Tait.