Australia has made two changes to the team, which claimed its first Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in November for the first match of a five-game T20 series against Sri Lanka.
With David Warner rested, the top run-scorer in the domestic T20 competition, Ben McDermott, will open the batting with captain Aaron Finch for Friday’s match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Josh Inglis comes in for Mitch Marsh and will play solely as a batsman, while Matthew Wade is the wicketkeeper.
Finch on Thursday endorsed Andrew McDonald as Justin Langer’s permanent replacement and echoed the comments of his test counterpart Pat Cummins by saying the next coach must be “more collaborative.”
McDonald, who has acted as an assistant to Langer since 2019, has the chance to audition for a permanent stay after being installed as interim head coach.
Finch indicated that McDonald was the right fit for a permanent position beyond the Sri Lanka series.
“That (the appointment of the next coach) is not my decision to make,” Finch said. “I’ve worked with him, and we played together for a long time. He’s very good at his job, but like everything that’s gone before us, the players don’t make those decisions.”
The teams will play the second match at the SCG on Sunday, followed by the third game next Tuesday at Canberra’s Manuka Oval. The final two games are set for the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Feb. 18 and 20.
Australia: Ben McDermott, Aaron Finch (captain), Josh Inglis, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.