Australia to rest first-choice bowling attack against England before T20 WC

GOLD COAST: Australia’s entire first-choice bowling attack will sit out the opening Twenty20 against England this weekend, selectors said Thursday, as they rotate the squad to ensure peak fitness for the World Cup.

Fast bowlers Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, along with spinner Adam Zampa the big-hitting Glenn Maxwell, will not feature in Perth on Sunday.

Instead, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson and Nathan Ellis return to the squad for the first match of a three-game series – Australia’s last before the World Cup starts on home soil on October 16.

Zampa, Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins and Maxwell will all be back for the second and third England games in Canberra next week.

“The high-performance team and selectors have planned these matches to ensure our squad get to the World Cup fresh and ready to perform,” chairman of selectors George Bailey.

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“Some squad members travelled to Perth early to begin preparations slightly earlier than the main squad and a handful of others will not make the trip to Perth.”

Defending champions Australia are currently in Queensland playing two T20s against the West Indies.

They narrowly won the first match by three wickets on Wednesday with the second in Brisbane on Friday before the five-hour flight to Perth.

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