Cricket Australia is concerned, that the big-name quartet of Steve Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood look set to head into the blockbuster Border-Gavaskar Test series without having played a first-class match in at least 11 months.
In addressing the media today, national selector Trevor Hohns said it was “more than likely” those four players would be absent from the Australia A matches that lead into the four-Test series, which present as their only opportunities for red-or-pink-ball cricket prior.
Spinner Nathan Lyon will have different problem, he hasn’t played much cricket in last 8 months and now not being named in ODI / T20 squad – he will venture out directly in the test matches against India.
India tour of Australia : Star Quartet not to be included in Australia A matches
Hohns did say however that Smith, Warner, Cummins and Hazlewood would begin “preparing for red-ball cricket” upon their returns to Australia from the Indian Premier League, with the potential for those players to be rested from one or multiple matches of the white-ball series against India (November 27 – December 8) as selectors seek to “do whatever we can to get the best out of them for the Test match series”.
“We’ll obviously be talking to our players about that sort of thing, but (Smith, Warner, Cummins and Hazlewood) are potentially all-format players, so once they return from the IPL and they get through their quarantine, it will be probably prudent for them to start preparing for red-ball cricket,” Hohns said.
“That may or may not be in that (second) Australia A game, and more than likely it won’t be.”
In a summer unlike any other, the international schedule is complex. Australia’s second and third T20Is clash with the first Australia A v India tour match (December 6-8), though Hohns did not rule out some members of what he expects to be a 16-18 man Test squad taking part in that three-day red-ball match in Drummoyne.
India Tour of Australia 2020-21 : Australia Squad Announced
Australia ODI & T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey , Pat Cummins (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Indian team for the tour of Australia
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.
India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy
India Test squad: Virat Kohli (c), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (w), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj
India tour of Australia : Dettol ODI Series v India
First ODI: November 27, SCG, 2.40pm AEDT
Second ODI: November 29, SCG, 2.40pm AEDT
Third ODI: December 2, Manuka Oval, 2.40pm AEDT
Dettol T20 INTL Series v India
First T20: December 4, Manuka Oval, 7.10pm AEDT
Second T20: December 6, SCG, 7.10pm AEDT
Third T20: December 8, SCG, 7.10pm AEDT
Australia A v India A, December 6-8, Drummoyne Oval
Australia A v Indians, December 11-13, SCG (day-night)
Vodafone Test Series v India
First Test: December 17-21, Adelaide Oval, 3pm AEDT (day-night)
Second Test: December 26-30, MCG, 10.30am AEDT
Third Test: January 7-11, SCG, 10.30am AEDT
Fourth Test: January 15-19, Gabba, 11am AEDT