Peter Siddle is set to feature for Australia for the first time since November 2010 after being named in the starting XI for the first ODI against India at the SCG on Saturday. The eleven announced by skipper Aaron Finch on Friday had three other specialist bowlers apart from Siddle, along with two all-rounders.
Siddle, Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff will be the three main seamers, with Marcus Stoinis coming in as fourth pace option. Nathan Lyon is the lead spinner with the hosts also holding an option to use spinner Glenn Maxwell, who will be batting as low as seven.
"For Sidds to go away and work on the skills that he’s brought to the table over the last couple of years in Big Bash cricket is outstanding," Finch said. "He well and truly deserves his spot. Any tour you go on, Sidds is one of the first picked I would think for what he brings to the team and the skill set he brings.
One name missing from the team sheet is Adam Zampa. "Adam’s very stiff to miss out on a game tomorrow. He’s performed reasonably well for us in the last little bit since he’s made his comeback. It’s unfortunate for him to miss but we feel those two [Nathan Lyon and Glenn Maxwell] together could play a really big part over the next six to 10 months," said Finch.
In terms of the batting order, Finch is set to open with wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey, with Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb to follow. Carey, who has played six ODIs and 19 T20Is for Australia, has opened in a couple of T20I games for his country but has batted at No. 5 or lower in ODIs.
Speaking about his opening partner, Finch said: "It’s just an opportunity to see Alex play in a position he’s done quite a bit in Big Bash and one-day cricket. It’s a position he’s performed really well with in the last couple of years. He’s been shuffled around the order a bit in the last little while … and he’ll get a good opportunity up there."
Australia XI for first ODI: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (wk) Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff.