With Australia sealing the 5-match ODI series by winning the first 3 games, the last 2 ODIs have all but lost their significance. The focus now shifts towards the 3-T20I series which is due to get underway with the 1st T20I on 26 January.

While the Indian squad had been named prior to the start of their trip Down Under, Australia announced their T20I squad post the 3rd ODI at Melbourne. Both teams have made some surprise inclusions as well as a few notable exclusions in their respective squads.

Here Are The 11 best players consisting of the T20I rejects from both teams:

#1 Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan - Best players from India and Australia who will not feature in the T20 series
Irfan has been in stupendous form this domestic season
Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan is creating some serious ripples in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament with consistent performances for Baroda. Perhaps one reason why he was not initially named in India's T20I squad for Australia is the fact that these good showings mostly came after the team was announced.

Pathan's opportunity of making a comeback arrived when Mohammad Shami was forced to leave the tour due to injury. However, as luck would have it, the selectors were more keen to give young Jasprit Bumrah a chance instead of the Baroda left-arm medium pacer who has quite a bit of experience of playing in Australia.

#2 George Bailey

George Bailey - Best players from India and Australia who will not feature in the T20 series
Bailey has been in terrific form in the ODIs
One of Australia's stars in the ongoing ODI series against India has been middle-order batsman and former skipper George Bailey. The 33-year old has already scored 211 runs in just 3 matches at a stupendous average of 105.

Unfortunately for him though, Bailey has not been included in the squad for the 3-match T20I series which will follow the ODIs. His exclusion is all the more surprising because he has also been performing brilliantly in the Big Bash League with 240 runs at an average of 60 and a tremendous strike rate of 150.

#3 Axar Patel

Axar Patel - Best players from India and Australia who will not feature in the T20 series
Axar has performed superbly in domestic cricket of late
When the squads for the Australia tour were announced, Axar Patel’s name mysteriously featured only in the ODI list and not in T20Is. Poor Axar doesn’t seem to have done too much wrong in T20I cricket as he has picked up 5 wickets in the 4 matches he has played.

Moreover, he has been quite a steady bowler in the IPL for quite some time now. In the ODIs too, Axar has not got his chance thus far as senior pro Ravindra Jadeja is being preferred over him by skipper Dhoni. It will be interesting to see whether Patel gets a game considering India have already lost the series.

#4 Mitchell Marsh

Mitchell Marsh - Best players from India and Australia who will not feature in the T20 series
Mitchell Marsh is a regular in Australia’s ODI setup
Pace-bowling allrounder Mitchell Marsh has been quite a familiar face in the Australian Test and ODI teams over the past year or so. However, he has not been too much in favour for selection in the shortest format of the game.

The younger Marsh is a proven customer when it comes to T20 cricket and has done well at the Big Bash League in the past. Despite this, Mitchell Marsh has played just 4 T20Is since making his debut in 2011 and has missed the bus this time around as well.

#5 Ishant Sharma

Ishant Sharma - Best players from India and Australia who will not feature in the T20 series
Ishant has been a changed bowler in recent times
Indian pacer Ishant Sharma recently made a comeback to the ODI scheme of things after a long gap. Seeing the form that he has been in over the past few months, Ishant could have been included in the T20I squad for Australia as well; however, that was not to be.

Perhaps one reason could be the fact that the team management do not want to overburden their seniormost bowler with the pressures of all 3 formats. However, Ishant Sharma’s experience of Aussie conditions could have been valuable for the other young bowlers to learn from.

#6 Usman Khawaja

Usman Khawaja - Best players from India and Australia who will not feature in the T20 series
Khawaja is desperate to make it to Australia’s limited-over teams
After toiling hard in domestic cricket, Usman Khawaja is finally getting regular chances in Test cricket and he is making them count. Khawaja is trying equally hard to break into the side in the shorter formats too, but things don’t seem to be working out.

The Pakistan-born southpaw has carried his fantastic form in Tests to the Big Bash League as well scoring 171 runs in 2 games including an unbeaten century. However, it seems that Usman Khawaja may have a lot more left to do in order to impress the Australian selectors.

#7 Manish Pandey

Manish Pandey - Best players from India and Australia who will not feature in the T20 series
Opportunities have come in a trickle for Pandey thus far
Despite being a consistent performer in domestic cricket, Manish Pandey has not got too many opportunities to prove himself in the national team. His inclusion in the ODI squad for the tour to Australia came as pleasant surprise, however, Pandey did not make it to the T20I team.

This exclusion is all the more strange considering the fact that Manish Pandey came into prominence because of his exploits in the IPL and is a seasoned performer in the T20 format. In the ODI series, Pandey has had just one chance to bat in 2 matches, that too at the fag end of the innings.

#8 Josh Hazlewood

Josh Hazlewood - Best players from India and Australia who will not feature in the T20 series
Josh Hazlewood has bowled well across all formats
Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood has been in terrific form with the ball of late. He has performed quite exceptionally in Test cricket and has also been good in ODIs, but has not considered for the T20I team in recent times.

The series against India could have been a good opportunity for Hazlewood to prove himself in the shortest format of the game. However, the Aussie selectors decided to pull him out for the remainder of the tour so that he can refresh himself prior to a gruelling season ahead.

#9 Amit Mishra

Amit Mishra - Best players from India and Australia who will not feature in the T20 series
Mishra has been unfortunate to miss out on the Australia tour
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra has not been finding favour with the selectors when it comes to limited-overs cricket. Mishra has done well in whatever limited opportunities he has received, but somehow his performances seem to go unnoticed and he is dropped every now and then.

His form in Indian domestic cricket has been quite phenomenal of late as he did well in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and also the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy. Being a leggie, Amit Mishra could have been quite a handful on Australian pitches but the selectors thought otherwise.

#10 Joe Burns

Joe Burns - Best players from India and Australia who will not feature in the T20 series
Burns has done quite well in Test cricket lately
Joe Burns recently got promoted to the opener’s slot alongside David Warner in the Australian Test team and has grabbed his opportunity with both hands. Unfortunately for Burns though, he has remained largely out of favour for the shorter formats.

Although he could not make the most of his selection for the post-Ashes ODI series, he could have been provided a chance in the ODI and T20I teams for the India series based on his Test form. However, Joe Burns would presently have to contend with playing in the Big Bash League.

#11 Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara - Best players from India and Australia who will not feature in the T20 series
Pujara is trying his best to break into the limited-overs teams

India’s prolific Test batsman Chetewshwar Pujara has rarely ever been on the selectors’ radar for limited-overs cricket, be it ODIs or T20Is. However, his recent exploits in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy have raised hopes for his entry into the team for the shortest format.

In 6 matches, Pujara scored 232 runs at an average of 46.40 and a strike rate of slightly under 118. The squad for the Australia tour had already been announced before the Saurashtra batsman showed his T20 skills, but a spot in the World Twenty20 squad may still be possible.


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