James Faulkner left out of Australia squad for ICC Champions Trophy 2017

By @saihoops on
James Faulkner, ICC Champions Trophy 2017
Australia's wicketkeeper Brad Haddin (R) celebrates with team-mate James Faulkner (C) after dismissing New Zealand's Grant Elliott (L) for 83 runs during their Cricket World Cup final match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) March 29, 2015. Reuters / Jason Reed

All-rounder James Faulkner has been shockingly omitted from Australia's 15-man squad for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in England. Australia is trying to become the first country to capture the 50-overs tournament for a third time after winning previous editions in 2006 and 2009.

Besides Faulkner, the quartet of Usman Khawaja, Pete Handscomb, George Bailey and Cameron White also failed to make the squad. All-rounder Moises Henriques and the fast bowling duo of James Pattinson and John Hastings were recalled to the squad after a prolonged absence from Australia's ODI team. Meanwhile, explosive batsman Chris Lynn, who recently injured his shoulder in the IPL, has also been named in the squad subject to fitness assessments. Strike fast bowler Mitchell Starc, too, would have to clear a fitness test.

Trevor Hohns, Australia's chairman of selectors, explained that Pattinson was close to earning a recall to Australia's Test squad for the Ashes series. "Both James (Pattinson) and John (Hastings) have made very good returns from injury and are bowling well for their respective teams in the English County competition as well as both contributing well with the bat. When you also add Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins to the fast bowling artillery it becomes a very exciting proposition for Australian cricket," said Hohns, via ESPNCricinfo.

ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Faulkner left out of Australia ODI squad

A little less than two years ago, Faulkner was named Man of the Match during the 2015 World Cup final against New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). And now, the left-handed pacer finds himself out of group of Australia's top-15 ODI players. In fact, Faulkner hasn't missed an ICC tournament since 2011. As aptly described by Fox Sports, Faulkner's omission was a strange one. 

"Faulkner has been Australia’s go-to man with the ball at the death for the last three years and this year his ODI bowling average sits at an impressive 25.18 with an economy of 5.54 — good enough for a man who bowls a large chunk of his overs in the final 10. Only Mitchell Starc (39 wickets at 20.41) and Josh Hazlewood (36 at 26.11) have taken more ODI wickets for Australia than Faulkner (35 at 29.80) since the start of last year. Throw in a career batting average of 34.06 and a strike rate of 104.21 and Faulkner offers the squad plenty," read the report.

The 2017 ICC Champions Trophy will be staged in England and Wales between June 1 and 18. Australia squad: Steven Smith (captain), David Warner (vice captain), Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa and Pat Cummins.