Watson to captain Australia in final T20I against India

Sydney, Jan 30 (IANS) All-rounder Shane Watson will captain Australia for the third and final Twenty20 International against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here on Sunday.

Watson replaces the injured Aaron Finch, who damaged his left hamstring during the 27-run loss at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Friday evening. Watson’s appointment followed a recommendation by the national selection panel that was approved by Cricket Australia’s (CA) Board of Directors.

“It is an honour to be asked to lead the side on Sunday, although the circumstances are far from ideal. We may have lost the series but there is a great deal to play for with the World Twenty20 coming up and you can be sure we will be determined to do well in Sydney,” Watson said.

With Finch sidelined, Usman Khawaja has stepped into the squad and has also been drafted into the One-Day International (ODI) squad for the tour of New Zealand.

Watson is Australia’s second most experienced T20I player with 51 caps; only David Warner (54) has appeared more often in the shortest form of the game. Watson will become the ninth player to captain Australia in T20Is. He has previously captained his country in one Test and nine One-Day Internationals (ODI) in 2012 and 2013.

The 34-year-old is Australia’s leading wicket-taker in T20Is with 41 victims and his tally of 1,191 runs is second only to Warner’s haul of 1,465.

The Australia captain for the World Twenty20 in India in March will be named when the squad is announced next month.

Third T20I squad: Shane Watson (captain), Cameron Bancroft, Scott Boland, Cameron Boyce, James Faulkner, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Chris Lynn, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Tait, Andrew Tye.

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