Jason Behrendorff will return to Australian colours later this month for the first time in more than a year having been named in the T20 squad to play South Africa and India.
The injury-plagued left-armer has been named alongside fellow quicks Nathan Coulter-Nile, Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye, while Test and ODI pacemen Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have not been included.
Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
The star pace trio as well as Mitchell Marsh, Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle – who have also been left out despite, along with Starc, being part of the recent T20 series in the UAE - will instead play JLT Sheffield Shield cricket in preparation for the four-Test series against India, starting on December 6.
“We have to get the balance right between playing our best T20 team and preparing for the upcoming Test series,” said coach Justin Langer.
“While I know all four (Starc, Siddle, Lyon and Marsh) have a desire to be playing cricket for Australia in every format, with a really tough Test series against India coming up, we believe their best preparation is to go back and get some really good cricket under their belts in the Sheffield Shield.”
Behrendorff burst onto the international stage in India last year with a stunning four-wicket haul that included the wickets of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.
But he’s played just six senior matches since then due to another crippling back injury, returning to international level in style last week by taking 3-35 for the Prime Minister’s XI against the Proteas.
“It gave us more evidence of how devastating he can be with the new ball,” Langer said.
“Tactically we believe it’s important to have a good left-arm swing bowler at our disposal for the four matches.”
Allrounder Marcus Stoinis, who was overlooked for the UAE series against Pakistan, has also returned to the squad.
“Marcus missed our recent T20 matches in the UAE because he hadn’t resumed bowling, but now he’s back to full fitness he’ll add great depth to the squad,” Langer said.
“Marcus is such a versatile player, he’s a powerful middle order batsman and he provides us with another solid bowling option.”
Australia will play a one-off T20 against the Proteas on the Gold Coast on November 17 before three matches against India in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney on November 21-25.
Behrendorff, Tye and Ben McDermott will also be part of the Cricket Australia XI that will play a T20 tour match against the Proteas on Brisbane on November 14.
McDermott will captain a team that also includes Sydney Thunder duo Fawad Ahmed and Gurinder Sandhu.
CA XI: Ben McDermott (c), Fawad Ahmed, Jason Behrendorff, Max Bryant, Ben Cutting, Chris Green, Matthew Kuhnemann, Lachlan Pfeffer, Alex Ross, Gurinder Sandhu, Kelvin Smith, Andrew Tye
Gillette T20s v South Africa and India
Gillette T20s v South Africa
November 17: Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast
Gillette T20s v India
November 21: The Gabba
November 23: MCG
November 25: SCG
South Africa T20 squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi.
India T20 squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed.