Mitchell Starc and Chris Lynn are in; Usman Khawaja and James Faulkner are out.
The selections for Australia’s 15-man Champions Trophy have been announced for the June tournament and there was more than a little consternation on the part of many observers, some of whom do not think that the Champions Trophy is the place to learn if Starc and Lynn are back in form after experiencing a foot stress fracture and a shoulder malady, respectively.
Leaving Faulkner off came as the biggest surprise, since he has in the past proven to be the go-to bowler, as well as a proficient batsman in the lower order, and was the key star in the World Cup triumph two years ago.
The decision to drop Faulkner was necessitated, according to national selector Trevor Hohns, was to make room for James Pattinson, John Hastings and Pat Cummins, three who have shown consistently good form of late.
Hohns described Faulkner’s dropping as an “unlucky omission.”
As they have done in Champions Trophies past, the Australians showed preference for fast bowlers for their United Kingdom opener on June 2.
Their first opponent will be the New Zealanders and will be played at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham, England.
Steve Smith will be the captain and he will hopefully see the selectors’ confidence in NSW veteran Moises Henriques, who had a productive domestic season, pay dividends in the run scoring department.