Head released from Australia ODI and T20I squads, Bartlett to be rested for second ODI

February 3, 2024
Australia opener Travis Head has been released from both the ODI and T20I squads to "refresh" after a strenuous Test summer

Sydney, Feb 3 (IANS) Australia opener Travis Head has been released from both the ODI and T20I squads to “refresh” after a strenuous Test summer, and pace bowler Xavier Bartlett has been rested for the second ODI against West Indies but is anticipated to return with vigor for the third game in Canberra.

World Cup-winning quick Josh Hazlewood has been added to Australia’s squad for the second ODI against the West Indies at the SCG.

Bartlett’s impressive performance in Melbourne, where he claimed 4 for 17, marked a memorable start to his international career. However, the management’s decision to rest him for the second ODI is part of a calculated plan to manage his workload cautiously. A Cricket Australia statement said the decision formed part of his “ongoing management” after the 25-year-old Queenslander missed the first half of the domestic season following his return from a back stress injury.

The young pace sensation, who dealt with a back injury last year, is being handled judiciously, especially considering the demanding schedule with three ODIs in five days and no prior one-day or Shield cricket this season.

The void left by Bartlett’s absence in Sydney will be filled by the inclusion of experienced World Cup-winning quick, Josh Hazlewood. Hazlewood initially rested for the ODI series after a busy Test summer, is set to bolster the Australian squad.

Left-arm quick Spencer Johnson will join the squad as cover for the third ODI in Canberra on Tuesday.

Australia has not named a replacement after Head’s departure and that opens the door for potential changes in the lineup, with the promising Jake Fraser-McGurk in contention to make his ODI debut at the SCG.

–IANS

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