Sport

Cricket ACT expects Steve Smith, David Warner in full-strength Australian team in Canberra

Captain Steve Smith and explosive opener David Warner are expected to spearhead a full-strength Australian team which will play in front of a capacity crowd at Manuka Oval later this month.

The full house sign is on the verge of going up for the January 20 clash against powerhouse India, with only a handful of single tickets available through Ticketek as of Friday afternoon.

Australian captain Steve Smith is expected to lead a full-strength side against India in Canberra on January 20.
Australian captain Steve Smith is expected to lead a full-strength side against India in Canberra on January 20. Photo: Cameron Spencer

The Canberra game is the fourth match of the five-game one-day international series between the two countries.

Australian selectors have only named the squad for the first three games starting at the WACA on Tuesday.

They will then re-assess before the remaining games at Manuka Oval and the SCG on January 23.

Selectors could be tempted to rest either Smith or Warner given their busy schedules this summer and depending on the results of the first three games.

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The pair have played all six Test matches against New Zealand and the West Indies and have been named for the opening three ODI games.

Smith will get a break during Australia's three-game Twenty20 series with India from January 26-31.

Focus will then switch to the tour of New Zealand in February with three ODIs and two Tests before the World T20 in India in March.

Cricket ACT chief executive Cameron French expects both Smith and Warner to feature in a full-strength Australian team.

"When you're playing against India, you're clearly going to put your best side on the park," French said.

"Our expectation is that all of those guys will be available and will be here."

The strong support for Canberra's dose of men's international cricket this summer will only help its case to host the city's inaugural Test match.

Canberra could be added to the Test calendar next summer after poor crowds to this season's match in Hobart.

However, Sydney has floated the possibility of a second Test match at the SCG, which would be a day-night match against South Africa.

"There are multiple components that Australian cricket looks at from a strategic perspective," French said.

"One of them is financial, but one of them is inspiring Australians, building a fan base and having all Australians be able to get to accessible elite cricket.

"Having a game here makes a lot of sense strategically in building that fan base."

While the popularity of the 50-over format continues to be overshadowed by Twenty20, support for one-dayers remains strong in Canberra.

"The ticket sales are tracking for what we would expect them to track for a sell-out," French said.

"Having India in January is a really good time for fixturing at the end of the school holidays.

"And because the schedule has been released so far in advance, people can put it in their calendars."

The Australia v India match is the first game as part of a four-year agreement between Cricket Australia and the ACT Government.

As part of the agreement, the match can be either a one-day international or a Twenty20 international.

But with the three T20 internationals this summer being held at the SCG, the MCG and the Adelaide Oval, venues with larger capacities and ability to generate substantial revenues, it would appear unlikely one of those fixtures would be held in Canberra.

"It's just a matter of working out what fits in the schedule," French said.

"Manuka Oval under lights, both of those products are really strong products.

"The one-dayer with India this year will be fantastic and then it's a wait and see what matches fit in the schedule as we move forward."

One-Day International: Australia v India at Manuka Oval on Wednesday, January 20. Limited amount of tickets available at Ticketek.