Australia's legendary players return as the team prepares for the T20 World Cup

Allan Border medalist Mitch Marsh looks certain to captain Australia at the T20 World Cup as he has been put in charge of a full-strength 15-man squad to take on New Zealand.

But despite calls for him to be swiftly included in the national team, left-arm fast bowler Spencer Johnson, a finalist in the Big Bash, has been left out, and will instead be kept on standby with the return of frontline fast bowlers . Which also includes Mitchell Starc.

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Even with Pat Cummins returning for three matches, Marsh, who was the emotional winner of the top individual award in Australian cricket at least for the week, remains in charge.

It is a clear indication that the selectors see Marsh, who captained Australia's ODI and T20 teams at various stages in 2023, as the man to take charge of the team during the tournaments in the West Indies and the USA.

In other surprise inclusions, Australia's T20 player of the year in 2023, Jason Behrendorff, and ODI World Cup winner Sean Abbott, man of the match in Australia's ODI win in Sydney last weekend, have both been overlooked.

He has been named as his replacement for injured fast bowler Nathan Ellis, who is a doubt for the three-match series against West Indies starting on Friday.

Johnson has been named as the next man in for the upcoming series if Ellis is not fit.

Matt Short, who was dropped from the West Indies ODI squad after suffering a hamstring injury on Sunday, has been included for the series against the Kiwis.

He will be kept under watch for the next few weeks, with Aaron Hardy replacing him in the squad for the series against the West Indies.

Nathan Ellis is close to a full recovery from a rib injury, subject to further testing this week. With Spencer Johnson, who has joined the ODI squad in Canberra, on standby for the West Indies series, Ellis will need more time to lead the charge in New Zealand.

Travis Head was not part of Australia's squad that won the 2021 T20 World Cup. He will compete with Steve Smith and Matt Short for the chance to open the batting alongside David Warner at this year's World Cup.

“Travis, Pat, Mitchell and Steve have rejoined the squad following the series against the West Indies, with Jason Behrendorff and Sean Abbott among the standby players to play in the upcoming T20s,” national selection chairman George Bailey said.

“The next six games will provide us with an opportunity to decide what we think our World Cup team will look like and what the potential roles will be within that.

“We will also make full use of the opportunity to monitor and observe the performance of Australian players in the IPL just ahead of the World Cup.”

Despite calls from World Cup-winning captain Aaron Finch to keep batting dynamo Jake Fraser-McGurk on the selection radar for the tournament, he also missed out.

Australian team for T20 in New Zealand

Mitchell Marsh (captain) Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc,

Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

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