Australia coach Andrew McDonald has mentioned that the team’s all-format players like Steve Smith and Josh Hazlewood will not miss the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 in India, ahead of the most anticipated Ashes series against England at home.
Australia had retained the coveted Ashes urn for the first time in many years after drawing the five-Test series in England in 2019. Now they will be contesting to retain the urn at home, however with the series following the ICC event in India, a decision will make for a complex build-up for the Ashes.
Under current scheduling, players will not be able to participate in red-ball match practice in the Sheffield Shield due to T20 World Cup commitments. This makes the scheduling for Test specialist players like Steve Smith and Josh Hazlewood intriguing, as they are important to the Australian team’s defense of the urn against England.
I’d Say If They’re (Steve Smith And Josh Hazlewood) In The Best T20 Side Or Squad They’ll Be There: Andrew McDonald
Speaking on Tuesday, McDonald said bias towards the Ashes would not be present in this year’s preparation, a stark contrast to previous years. Steve Smith and Josh Hazlewood have made modest contributions to the T20 format for Australia, while both were the major reasons why Australia drew the Ashes 2019 in England 2-2.
“I’d say if they’re (Steve Smith and Josh Hazlewood) in the best T20 side or squad they’ll be there and we’ll just have to work out ways to preparing those guys who aren’t playing in the XI at the time,” said McDonald.
McDonald further said that Australia might be forced to have extended squads for the T20 World Cup and the Ashes that follow. This might mean 18, 19, 20 players as opposed to the usual 15-man squads that they are accustomed to.
“And we’re probably expecting to have extended squads through this COVID period as well. We could end up having, 18, 19, 20 players in the squad as opposed to what we’ve become accustomed with the 15-man squad. So I think the squads will be a little bit deeper therefore you might have some options to train guys in India at the time to get ready for the Ashes as well,” he added.
The T20 World Cup will be played in India from October-November 2021.