Sydney, Oct 6 (IANS): With an eye on the upcoming T20 World Cup, Australia's cricket selectors on Thursday made wholesale changes in their squad bringing in Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson and Nathan Ellis for the first match of the T20 Series against England starting in Perth on Sunday.
Stoinis, Richardson and Agar re-join the squad for the England Series and the ICC Men's T20 World Cup. Swepson and Ellis have been added to the squad for the opening game against England in Perth as selectors continue to prepare for the World Cup at home.
The selectors rested the entire bowling unit that will walk out for Friday's second T20I against West Indies at the Gabba in Brisbane. Swepson comes in for Adam Zampa who along with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell will remain on the east coast to continue their World Cup preparation. According to reports, Richardson and Mitchell Marsh flew to Perth on Thursday to prepare for the opening England match.
Zampa, Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins and Maxwell return for the second and third T20Is against England in Canberra. All-rounder Cameron Green remains in the squad for the England series.
The main reason for the changes is to give some rest to the bowlers as there is not enough turnaround time between Friday's encounter with West Indies and Sunday's first match against England. In between, the players were to take a five-hour flight from Brisbane to Perth.
Chair of Selectors George Bailey said: "The high-performance team and selectors have planned these matches to ensure our squad gets to the World Cup fresh and ready to perform.
"Some squad members travelled to Perth early to begin preparations slightly earlier than the main squad and a handful of others will not make the trip to Perth.
"With some players remaining on the east coast, it provides further opportunity for Nathan Ellis and Daniel Sams who both performed well in India," he was quoted by Cricket Australia in a release on Thursday.
"Likewise Mitchell Swepson was a part of last year's World Cup squad and continues to provide good depth in our T20 spin bowling department," he added.