Warner to lead Australia in T20 tri-series

Warner to lead Australia in T20 tri-series

David Warner will lead Australia in next month's Twenty20 international tri-series against New Zealand and England as regular captain Steve Smith is given a break ahead of the crucial Test tour to South Africa.

Opening batsman Warner, the Test vice-captain, steps up to lead Australia in the T20 games which come a few weeks before the four-Test series in South Africa.

"The South African series is a very important one and we have made no secret of our desire to improve our record away from home," chief selector Trevor Hohns said on Sunday.

"As such, we wanted to ensure the players had the best possible preparation and that means playing the tour match prior to the first Test."

On the decision for Warner to captain, Hohns added: "Steve Smith has had a very big summer and will benefit from a short break both physically and mentally before he leaves for South Africa.

"David is a very capable leader and has captained in Steve's absence before and done a fine job.

"We wanted to ensure the T20 side had key leadership throughout this series and we know the team is in good hands with him at the helm."

There will be no other Test players in the T20 series and Glenn Maxwell returns to Australia's side after being passed over for the current one-day internationals against England.

"We have selected a very strong batting line-up with some heavy hitters," selector Mark Waugh said.

"With some players currently injured and our frontline quicks heading to South  Africa, it gives a great opportunity to some of the young pace bowlers who have been selected to make their mark on the international stage."

Selected in the T20 squad for the first time are Sydney Sixers fast-bowler Ben Dwarshuis, Adelaide Strikers wicket-keeper Alex Carey and Hobart Hurricanes D'Arcy Short.

Australia play New Zealand and England from February 3- 21.

Australia squad: David Warner (captain), Aaron Finch, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.  

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