Nevill earns shock Australia World T20 call, Smith takes over captaincy


Peter Nevill has earned a surprise place in Australia's World Twenty20 squad, despite having never played an international limited-overs match for his country, while Steve Smith has replaced Aaron Finch as captain.

Test-regular Nevill will be Australia's wicketkeeper for the tournament, which gets under way in India next month, after being chosen in favour of Matthew Wade.

While the former's T20 record with the bat is modest, Nevill's skills behind the stumps have proved a decisive factor in his selection.

"We feel our batting depth is sufficient enough that we can have a specialist wicketkeeper in the squad," said national selector Rod Marsh.

"We want Australia's best wicketkeeper playing in this tournament and we consider Peter Nevill to be the best in the country right now."

Finch (hamstring) is one of three players - together with James Faulkner (hamstring) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (shoulder) - selected subject to fitness following recent injury troubles, but loses the captaincy to Test and ODI skipper Smith.

"Aaron Finch has done a very good job captaining Australia in T20 cricket," added Marsh.

"However, since he became T20 captain, there has been a broader leadership transition in Test and one-day international cricket with Michael Clarke retiring and Steve Smith assuming the captaincy in Test and one-day cricket.

"We think now is the right time for Steve to lead Australia in all three forms of the game as it offers us important continuity, not only ahead of the World T20, but beyond that tournament as well."

Ashton Agar is another member of Australia's 15-man squad who has yet to play a T20 international, while a number of players come in after missing the recent series against India.

In-form batsman Usman Khawaja, recent ODI debutant Adam Zampa, Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood and Coulter-Nile have all been brought in.

There is no room, however, for Nathan Lyon, George Bailey, Shaun Marsh or Shaun Tait, while the likes of Scott Boland, Chris Lynn and Travis Head also miss out.

Australia will play three T20s in South Africa early next month before heading to India, where they will face the hosts, New Zealand, Pakistan and a qualifier in the Super 10 phase.


Australia World T20 squad: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner (vice-captain), Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Nevill, Andrew Tye, Shane Watson, Adam Zampa.