Australia get pace boost for Champions Trophy

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Australia get pace boost for Champions Trophy
Shukriya Pakistan

SYDNEY: Fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson were Thursday named in Australia’s 15-man squad for next month’s ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales.

Starc has recovered from a stress fracture in his right foot which sent him home from Australia’s Test series in India last month, while Pattinson is fit again after serious shin and back injuries.

Pattinson is currently playing for Nottinghamshire in English cricket after taking part in Victoria’s Sheffield Shield championship victory in the recently finished domestic season.

Selectors have boosted Australia’s fast-bowling stocks for the Champions Trophy with Starc, Pattinson and John Hastings joining Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

“Both James and John have made very good returns from injury and are bowling well for their respective teams… as well as both contributing well with the bat,” chief selector Trevor Hohns said.

“When you also add Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins to the fast bowling artillery it becomes a very exciting proposition for Australian cricket.”

Big-hitting Queensland batsman Chris Lynn has also been named in the squad as he returns from a third shoulder injury inside two years, while playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.

“Our medical staff will continue to monitor Mitchell and Chris’ recovery from their respective injuries but we are hopeful they will be fit in time for the team’s departure on May 18,” Hohns said.

New South Wales batting all-rounder Moises Henriques has also been recalled to the side having last played for the national one-day squad against Sri Lanka in August last year.

“Moises finished off the domestic season very well and has had a great start in the IPL,” Hohns said.

“We believe Moises’ batting has improved significantly in the past six months and he will provide us with a strong option should he be selected.”

But Tasmanian all-rounder James Faulkner was omitted from the side, with Hohns describing him as an “unlucky omission” after other players returned to fitness.

The selected players who are in Australia will depart for England on May 18 with the remaining players in the IPL to join as their teams finish in the tournament.

Australia – Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.

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