Melbourne: Australia’s premier batter Steve Smith and left-arm pace spearhead Mitchell Starc have been ruled out of the white-ball tour of South Africa due to injuries to the wrist and groin, respectively.
A report in cricket.com.au said despite the two missing the South Africa tour, they are expected to be fully fit for the ODI World Cup in India from October 5 to November 19. As a result, Mitchell Marsh will be taking over as Australia’s captain for both white-ball formats in South Africa.
Starc's absence means uncapped left-arm quick Spencer Johnson will remain on for the ODI leg of the tour after being previously named in the T20I squad. Marnus Labuschagne has been added to the ODI squad, with Ashton Turner called in as his replacement in the T20I squad.
It has been revealed that Smith is nursing a tendon injury to his left wrist which will keep him sidelined for up to another four weeks. The report added that Starc is experiencing "groin soreness" since returning from England where he played the WTC final and four of the five Ashes Tests.
It added that his absence from the South Africa tour is not related to the shoulder injury he battled at the back end of that tour.
"The compacted Ashes series and the World Test Championship was a heavy load for the group, and we are taking a conservative approach to the build-up to the World Cup." said the report on Friday.
"With the World Cup the priority of the squad, it was determined on advice that it was best for Steve and Mitchell to join the group in India by which time we expect them to be fully fit and available for the Indian ODI series, plus the World Cup warm-up fixture," selection panel head George Bailey was quoted as saying in the report.
Cricket Australia also said Michael di Venuto will be the head coach for the T20 leg of the South Africa tour and will be assisted by former Aussie quick Clint McKay and Australian women's team assistant Dan Marsh.
T20I squad: Mitchell Marsh (capt), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Aaron Hardie, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa.
ODI squad: Mitchell Marsh (capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.