McDermott in, Warner out of Australia's T20 squad

Big Bash star Ben McDermott could be given an extended run at the top of Australia's T20 batting line-up next month, with star opener David Warner to miss the five-match Dettol T20I Series against Sri Lanka.

Fast bowler Jhye Richardson as well as Travis Head and Moises Henriques have also earned recalls to Australia's 16-player squad having missed last year's T20 World Cup win in the UAE.

World Cup heroes Warner and Mitchell Marsh will both miss the series ahead of the three-format tour of Pakistan that is scheduled to begin in March, while head coach Justin Langer will also take planned leave ahead of the Pakistan trip

Assistant coach Andrew McDonald will act as head coach for the Sri Lanka series, which will run from February 11 to 20 and feature matches in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

Warner, Marsh and leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson are the three players from the triumphant 15-man World Cup squad not included to face Sri Lanka, with McDermott, Head, Richardson and Henriques the additions to this 16-player group.

Daniel Sams, Nathan Ellis (who has been sidelined by injury) and Dan Christian, who were all reserve players at the World Cup, have all been left out.

The series will also mark the return of fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, who has been out of action since the first Vodafone Ashes Test last month due to a side injury

With the squad a largely settled one following the World Cup win, the biggest talking point is the inclusion of McDermott, who was named BBL Player of the Tournament earlier today after a record-breaking season that included back-to-back centuries for the Hobart Hurricanes

Having failed to establish himself in his 19 international appearances to date, which have yielded a highest score of 35 mostly in the middle order, McDermott looks likely to battle Perth Scorchers star Josh Inglis for the opening spot left vacant by Warner.

"I don't think that I wasn't ready to play for Australia (before), but I do feel ready now," McDermott said earlier today. "I feel like I'm at the top of my game.

"I've developed a lot of learnings through those experiences. They haven't been good ones, I won't shy away from that, but I've definitely learned from those experiences and hopefully I come back well."

There could yet be two vacancies at the top of the order in the absence of both Warner and Marsh, although selectors could instead revert to a five-man bowling attack, which would see the middle order of Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade all move up a spot from the positions they filled at the World Cup

Despite the inclusion of both McDermott and Inglis, skipper Aaron Finch said this month that World Cup hero Wade will take the gloves against Sri Lanka.

Australia's World Cup title will go on the line later this year when they host the tournament in October and November.

"This squad will begin preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup defence at home later this year and includes several players who have an early chance to impress in these five matches against a quality opposition," said selection chair George Bailey.

Head coach Langer has been away from his home in Perth since October and it's yet to be seen when he'll be able to go home after Western Australia recently reversed its decision to allow quarantine-free travel into the state from February 5.

Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Josh Inglis, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa

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