ODI squad leaves embarrassment of riches at home
FIRSTLY I’ll just get this off my chest: How good is Marnus Labuschagne?
Evidently good enough to rock the boat of Australia’s ODI squad. Still uncapped in the white ball format, the 25-year-old unseated some proven performers in the shorter formats to book his ticket.
While the midsummer sojourn to India for three one-dayers is ridiculous in itself and serves only to diminish the quality of the Big Bash League, Australia left behind some key baggage when the squad flew out for its whirlwind series on Thursday.
While there was no room for Usman Khawaja (Thunder), Travis Head (Strikers), Mitch Marsh (Scorchers), Shaun Marsh (Renegades) or Matthew Wade (Hurricances), BBL09 leaders Melbourne Stars in particular have been left with an embarrassment of riches at their disposal.
World Cup trio Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Nathan Coulter-Nile were all snubbed. All three played a part in proving a point in their comprehensive victory over Sydney Thunder on the eve of the national side’s departure.
Indeed, the way Maxwell has taken his game to a new level with his match awareness and game management as captain has not only put Australian skipper Aaron Finch, who has been in charge of the winless Mebourne Renegades, to shame, but has the Stars well poised in their quest for a long-awaited first title.
While they do lose their third best short-form batsman in Peter Handscomb - who’s more suited to the red-ball game - and second-best leg-spinner Adam Zampa, the Stars are hardly weakened and should continue to plunder.