Warner holds out IPL hot shot Fraser-McGurk in Australia's T20 World Cup squad


Brisbane, May 22: Hyped as the next David Warner by astute judges of his phenomenal batting talent, Jake Fraser-McGurk will have to settle for being next in line if Australia needs backup at the Twenty20 World Cup.

His extraordinary Indian Premier League form wasn't enough to supplant anyone in the preliminary 15-man Australian squad that was announced May 1, but did earn him a spot as a traveling reserve for the tournament next month. Australia coach Andrew McDonald confirmed the squad on Tuesday — with Warner, Travis Head and skipper Mitch Marsh remaining first choice top-order batters — and added Fraser-McGurk and Matthew Short as injury cover.

"There's no doubt what he did in the IPL, he lit it up," McDonald told Australia's SEN radio. "He's an extraordinary talent (and) there's no doubt that he did turn our heads."

The 22-year-old Fraser-McGurk soared into Australia's selection calculations with 330 runs at an almost surreal strike-rate of 234 for the Delhi Capitals. His four half-centuries included two off 15 balls as he shredded bowling attacks. He got his IPL break because of an injury to Warner, thanks to some input from former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, but he couldn't unseat the 37-year-old veteran for the global T20 World Cup starting June 1 in the U.S. and Caribbean.

And while McDonald conceded Fraser-McGurk was a "huge discussion" for the World Cup when he was running hot, he said the young batter didn't quite fit into the mix selectors had been working on since Australia lost the title in 2022. Warner has been bothered by hand injury that disrupted his IPL season, but McDonald said Australian selectors have "no fears that he won't be fit and fully available."

It's likely to be the last World Cup for Warner, who burst onto the international scene in 2009 as a hard-hitting, rapid scorer and became one of the most enduring batters in test and limited-overs cricket.

Marsh, who is recovering from an injured hamstring, was confirmed as T20 captain last month after sharing the duties on an interim basis since the retirement last year of Aaron Finch.

Allrounder Marsh will likely bat at No. 3 and Glenn Maxwell at No. 4 in the lineup, with Tim David likely to fill the finisher role further down the order.

Matt Wade and Josh Inglis were picked as wicketkeepers and Ashton Agar returns to the squad as a second spinning option to Adam Zampa.

The regular pace bowling trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will have support from Nathan Ellis as well as allrounders Cameron Green, Marsh and Marcus Stoinis. (AP)

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