Australia coach Darren Lehmann (left) and Scott Boland during a training session last month © Getty Images
Australia coach Darren Lehmann (left) and Scott Boland during a training session last month © Getty Images

Cricket Australia announced the One-Day International (ODI) squad to face India in the home series on Monday. The 13-man squad strikingly featured two uncapped names in Joel Paris and Scott Boland and also brought back youngsters like Kane Richardson. These players made it into the squad at the expense of international veterans such as Shane Watson. John Hastings, who impressed in his outing in England, was also given the boot in favour of young talent. According to Rishad D’Souza Australia is enabled to make these bold moves owing to the depth of talent the country possesses. COMPLETE COVERAGE: INDIA TOUR OF AUSTRALIA 2015-16

In the aftermath of the mass exodus of experienced campaigners in the Australian international setup by way of retirement, one would have expected the country to latch on to the likes of Shane Watson to add a depth in the experience reserves of the side. However, the selectors have made the bold move to axe him despite his performances in limited-overs cricket remaining quite sound. ALSO READ: Australia announce squad for home ODI series against India; Shane Watson excluded

John Hastings, who impressed in his outing with Australia during their ODI series, was also dropped. He was largely responsible for setting up Australia’s victory in the deciding ODI of the series, yet the selectors have opted for younger talent.

This move leaves Australia with less experience but with more fresh talent. It is a tricky trade off and initially the move may even seem foolish and naive. Most youngsters take a little bit of time to warm up to international cricket but get better in the passage of time when they get used to the added pressures.

But these are risks nevertheless. The cases where domestic legends have failed to pick up their international games are not rare. Making a decision to eliminate older experienced characters for young potential is fraught with uncertainty and requires a lot of confidence to execute. This confidence, in case of Australian selectors, stems from the sheer depth of talent in their domestic ranks.

It is reflective of their belief that their local cricket structure is of top quality and hence the players who excel at that level are likely to make it big in the international arena. In the scenario that these players flop as international cricketers due to the additional stresses and mental pressure, the selectors can still rest in the fact that they have other fresh talent who can come in and meet those demands. ALSO READ: India must expect criticism if they fail in Australia: Ravichandran Ashwin

To a great degree, this alleviates the fear within the management that of them becoming the butt of public ridicule if their move to axe senior pros for youngsters fails.

It is safe to say that the selection of the side chosen for the home series against India is reflective of this very confidence harboured in the Australian ranks about the quality of domestic cricketers they possess.

Given that the next 50-over ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is still over three years away, the selectors may also be taking into the consideration that senior players like Nathan Lyon, Watson and Hastings may be unable to maintain the same competent standards they were once known for. In that aspect, identifying and grooming youngsters early is a good call.

Steven Smith remains the captain of the side. He has shown that while he is not the most attacking and impulsive captain, he can be a steady guiding figure. David Warner is a solid deputy although controversial in nature. Aaron Finch has also proven himself in the ODI format which means the batting top-order is sound.

The middle order features names like Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh and Matthew Wade which affords Australia plenty of choice. The bowling unit is relatively young but James Faulkner, Josh Hazlewood and all-rounder Mitchell have attained international acclaim for their bowling skills. Paris, Richardson and Boland will have to jostle their way into the side.

Because the core of the existing team is young, it will further benefit the uncapped players and fresh faces to get integrate in the scheme of things. It will create a comfort zone for them that will further improve the probability that they perform up to their standards. The squad looks good overall, but the taste of the pudding is in the eating. The series should be revealing in a lot of aspects.

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RDcric on Twitter)