9 Feb 2016

Smith replaces Finch as Aussie skipper for World T20

2:07 pm on 9 February 2016

Aaron Finch has been dumped as Australia's captain in the shortest form of the game and replaced by test skipper Steve Smith just a month before the start of the cricket World Twenty20.

Australia captain Steve Smith

Australia captain across all forms - Steve Smith. Photo: Photosport

Opener Finch, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury, was named captain in September 2014 but only skippered the side on six occasions as Australia concentrated on other forms of the game.

Finch remains in the 15-man squad released today for the tournament in India. Selectors also sprang a surprise by dumping wicketkeeper Matthew Wade for test gloveman Peter Nevill, who has never played any limited overs cricket for Australia.

Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, who has never played any T20 cricket, was also named in the squad.

Australia have never won the World Twenty20 title in five previous attempts, their best finish coming in West Indies in 2010 when they lost to England in the final.

Pietersen unwanted

Meanwhile, former England cricket batsman Kevin Pietersen will not be recalled for the World Twenty20, captain Eoin Morgan has been quoted as saying.

Kevin Pietersen alleges there was a campaign of bullying inside the England team.

Kevin Pietersen Photo: Photosport

Pietersen has not played for England in any format since 2014 but the 35-year-old has been in good form recently in club Twenty20 tournaments in Australia and Pakistan.

"That door is completely shut, Kevin will not be picked. That's from me," Morgan told the Daily Mail.

South African-born Pietersen, a former England captain and member of the side that won the World Twenty20 in 2010, was dropped in 2014.

England director of cricket Andrew Strauss explained the decision at the time by saying there was a "massive trust issue" with Pietersen. The pair had fallen out over text messages sent by Pietersen to South African players during a 2012 test series when Strauss was captaining the team.

Pietersen responded to Morgan's comments on Twitter.

"Interesting he's saying it's HIS call! Very interesting! Hmmmmm," said Pietersen, who is England's second highest run-scorer in Twenty20 internationals.

Morgan, top of that list, has led a revival in England's one-day fortunes since their dismal first-round exit at last year's 50-over World Cup.

They lead hosts South Africa 2-0 in the current five-match series.