36-yr-old Klinger in line to make T20 debut against Lanka

Melbourne [Australia], Feb.1 : Veteran batsman Michael Klinger is in line to make his international debut at the age of 36 years after being named in the 13-man Australian T20 squad for the three-match home series against Sri Lanka beginning February 17 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Klinger's inclusion seems to have come in the wake of his recent impressive performance in the Big Bash League (BBL).

He was the third-leading run scorer in this summer's BBL besides being the all-time highest run scorer in tournament history.

If selected, Klinger will become Australia's second-oldest player to make debut in any format in past 30 years; only Bryce McGain was older on his 2009 Test debut.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine, who last represented Australia in the ODI series against Bangladesh in April 2011, has also been picked against Lanka.

Meanwhile, the uncapped duo of fast bowler Jhye Richardson and all-rounder Ashton Turner have also received a call-up in the national squad for the upcoming series.

However, a number of first-choice T20 players were unavailable for selection as they will be in India preparing for a four-match Test series starting a day after this T20 series concludes.

As a result, Aaron Finch will lead the team, which will be without the services of regular captain Steven Smith, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Glenn Maxwell, among others.

Reflecting on the squad, national selector Trevor Hohns said that they have selected a squad with a perfect blend of experience combined with several younger players in an effort to improve their T20 ranking.

"With Australia currently ranked number six in this format and with a number of our frontline players preparing for the India Test series, we have chosen a squad with a good blend of experience combined with several younger players in an effort to improve our performance and therefore our ICC T20 ranking," ESPNcricinfo quoted Hohns as saying.

Australia squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Michael Klinger, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Moises Henriques, Ashton Turner, Tim Paine (wk), James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake.

Source: ANI