October 8, 2019 / 3:55 AM / a month ago

Smith, Warner in Australia T20 squad for Sri Lanka, Pakistan series

(Reuters) - Australia on Tuesday named Steve Smith and David Warner in their Twenty20 squad for home series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan as selectors firm up plans for next year’s World Cup on home soil.

Cricket - Ashes 2019 - Fifth Test - England v Australia - Kia Oval, London, Britain - September 12, 2019 Australia's Steve Smith looks on Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/Files

Australia host Sri Lanka in three T20 internationals starting in Adelaide on Oct. 27 before facing top-ranked Pakistan in three matches next month.

“It is almost a year to the day until Australia hosts the men’s T20 World Cup and we have selected this squad with that in mind,” selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement.

“The squad we have selected is quite role specific and we believe it gives us the flexibility to thrive in all match conditions.

“We’re delighted to welcome Smith and Warner back ... Steve is a world-class batsman in all formats while Warner is Australia’s highest ever T20I runs-scorer.”

Smith is set to play his first T20 international since 2016 and will look to continue the fine form he has shown since his return from a one-year ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

The 30-year-old smashed 774 runs in four Ashes tests against England recently as Australia retained the urn.

Warner scored 692 runs in this year’s IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad and 647 runs in the 50-over World Cup in England as Australia reached the semi-finals.

Australia dropped all-rounder Marcus Stoinis while Ashton Turner was preferred ahead of fellow spinner Nathan Lyon. They also included the big-hitting Glenn Maxwell.

The 14-man squad captained by Aaron Finch will travel to Adelaide on Oct. 24 before the first T20 against Sri Lanka.

Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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