Mitch Marsh, Mitch Starc and Adam Zampa are all unavailable for the first ODI against Sri Lanka and now another bowler has been ruled out.
Paceman Kane Richardson has joined the overcrowded Aussie casualty division and will not feature at all in the five-game ODI series against Sri Lanka, but Mitch Starc and Mitch Marsh will make their much-needed return against the third game.
Replacing Richardson in the 50-strong squad is fan favorite Scott Boland, although he is unlikely to play unless the Aussies are hit with yet another injury.
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Cricket Australia confirmed on Monday afternoon (AEST) that Richardson suffered a “fairly serious” hamstring injury in the third T20 of Australia’s series with Sri Lanka last week.
Richardson will fly home Saturday to recover and put on his face so convincingly that Finch had no idea he had injured himself.
“I wasn’t aware of it during the game recently, so that was quite big of him to get through,” said Finch ahead of the first ODI, which takes place in Kandy on Tuesday.
Aussie selectors considered flying in a replacement for Richardson, who was himself brought into the squad only to cover injuries.
Boland proved an easier option, however, as he was already in Sri Lanka for the upcoming test series.
“We were talking about bringing Nathan Ellis over from the UK but he has missed a couple of County games with a groin injury,” said Finch.
“Riley Meredith, Wes Agar, they’re not home yet.
“Scotty just comes in as a cover.”
Richardson will be joined on the sidelines by Starc (finger) and Marsh (calf), who are both likely to return from injury for game three of the ODI series on Sunday.
“(Marsh) and ‘Starcy’ are about the same time, which may be game two, but more than likely game three,” Finch said.
“It wasn’t ideal with Mitch Marsh as an all-rounder going down with a calf injury.
“(Starc) still has some stitches on his hands, so he’s probably available for the third ODI.
“Unfortunately, (his recovery) has not gone as quickly as we had hoped. Because he had a pretty serious injury to his bowling finger and couldn’t have tape on it during the game or when he bowls, that just made it a little more difficult.”
Finch confirmed his XI against Sri Lanka in the first ODI, with Alex Carey, Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins being the only players not to play in the T20I series.
Cummins missed the series to rest his troublesome hip for the ODI and Test series and will be welcomed with open arms.
“He really wants to go,” Finch said.
“He is fresh and charged after getting over that hip injury that has been dragging on for 12 or 14 months.
“To give him a good, solid recovery period and then a training block, he looks like he’s up and running.”
Finch said spinner Mitch Swepson had an opportunity to add his two ODI caps as the tourists returned to Colombo from Sunday.
However, for the first two games, the Aussies are determined to use just one specialized spinner, Ashton Agar.
“We have a feeling that there probably won’t be that many spinners needed on this surface[in Kandy],” he said.
“But going to Colombo will certainly be considered.”
The Australian XI taking on Sri Lanka in the first ODI is:
Aaron Vink (c)
Alex Carey (week)
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