Australian wicketkeeper Ben Dunk could be on course to make his international debut when Australia contest a T20 series against South Africa next month.
The 27-year-old is a lesser-known name 13-man squad but has worked his way into the side courtesy of an unbeaten knock of 229 in a recent 50-over match for Tasmania against Queensland.
With a two-match Test series preceding the limited-overs action against the Proteas, a few players have been given a chance in the upcoming series on home soil. Nathan Reardon could win his maiden international cap, whilst Cameron White could play his first game for Australia since the World T20 in Bangladesh earlier this year.
Australia and South Africa will play three T20 matches against each other in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney from the 5th of November to the 9th. A five-match ODI series will follow that as both sides prepare for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
And the upcoming fixtures will offer the opportunity for players to showcase their skills on the international stage and potentially work their way into the first XI before the tournament begins.
One player looking to do just that is Dunk, who will don the gloves for the three-match series, making his debut for Australia in the process. The left-handed batsman scored a record-breaking double hundred – but still ended up on the losing side – in a match against Queensland at the North Sydney Oval last weekend.
His 229* has evidently made the selectors stand up and take notice, and the presence of Mark Waugh at the ground on the day obviously worked in his favour. Impressive and explosive performances with the bat, and handy work with the gloves, could earn Dunk some ODI appearances that could fuel aspirations of playing at a home World Cup.
The close proximity with the Pakistan Test series, which is due to finish just a few days before the opening T20 means that players in Abu Dhabi are unlikely to play any part
in the early stages against the touring South Africans.
David Warner, Mitchell Johnson and Glenn Maxwell haven’t been named in the squad, whilst a decision will be taken nearer the time as to whether or not James Faulkner can play in the shorter matches.
Those absences will open the door to potentially offer an international debut to Reardon as well. At 29, the left-hander could make his Australian debut in Adelaide on November 5th.
Australia T20 squad to face South Africa: Aaron Finch (capt), Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Cameron Boyce, Patrick Cummins, Ben Cutting, Ben Dunk (wk), James Faulkner (chosen subject to Pakistan Test series selection), Nic Maddinson, Nathan Reardon, Kane Richardson, Shane Watson, Cameron White.