Australia’s rising stars Jake Fraser-McGurk and Xavier Bartlett get maiden Australia call-up as seniors take rest for West Indies ODIs

Cricket Australia has made a surprise decision by selecting the inexperienced pair of Jake Fraser-McGurk and Xavier Bartlett for the forthcoming three-match ODI series against West Indies as the senior pros opted out of the series.

Sarah Andrew
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Jake Fraser McGurk (Source - X)

Australia has made an intriguing move by calling up the uncapped duo of Jake Fraser-McGurk and Xavier Bartlett for their upcoming three-match ODI series against West Indies. This decision brings two promising players into the limelight, offering fans a glimpse of Australia's future cricketing talent.

Jake Fraser-McGurk gained widespread recognition last year when he shattered the List A record for the fastest century in history, taking a mere 29 deliveries to reach this impressive milestone. The young batter continued to make waves by scoring a maiden first-class century for South Australia.

This showcased his adaptability and skill in different formats of the game. Fraser-McGurk's talent was further highlighted in the Big Bash League (BBL) where he had a stellar season with the Melbourne Renegades, amassing 257 runs at a striking rate of 158.64. Presently, Fraser-McGurk is playing for the Dubai Capitals in ILT20.

However, he will have to cut short his campaign to join the upcoming ODI series scheduled to commence on February 2 in Melbourne. Despite his ongoing commitments in ILT20, Fraser-McGurk's return for the ODI series reflects the significance of this opportunity. His inclusion comes in the wake of Glenn Maxwell's well-deserved rest after an active participation in the BBL season.

Steve Smith will lead Australia in ODIs

The 13-man squad will be led by the experienced Steve Smith, bringing stability and guidance to the team. Cricket Australia has opted to rest the pace bowling trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazelwood, emphasizing their commitment to player well-being. 

Xavier Bartlett, a right-arm pacer, has been a standout performer in this season's BBL. Currently leading the list of the highest wicket-takers with 17 wickets at an average of 14.82, Bartlett has delivered notable performances in both the Powerplay overs and at the death.

In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Bartlett expressed his aspirations, stating, "I haven't had communication with the selectors or anything like that. I'm definitely striving towards playing for Australia, but my short-term goal is just to play some consistent cricket."