Five Australia Test Debutants In New Era After Tampering Scandal
Zeeshan Mehtab 13 days ago Tue 11th September 2018 | 06:05 PM
Australia ushered in a fresh era Tuesday by including five uncapped players in its first Test squad since the scandal-plagued tour of South Africa early this year, while recalling veteran Peter Siddle.
Sydney, Sept 11 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 11th Sep, 2018 ) :Australia ushered in a fresh era Tuesday by including five uncapped players in its first Test squad since the scandal-plagued tour of South Africa early this year, while recalling veteran Peter Siddle.
With the disgraced Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft all suspended for their roles in the ball-tampering row that sparked one of the worst crises cricket has faced in recent times, selectors had slim pickings.
Also missing for the two-Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates next month are injured fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, leaving Australia with one of its weakest Test squads in years.
"There has been significant change to our Test squad, due to the unavailability of a number of key players," said selector Trevor Hohns.
"It's a blend of experienced players who have a significant amount of either Test or first-class cricket, and a number of younger players who we are confident are ready for the Test arena." Three top-order spots were left vacant by Smith, Warner and Bancroft's absence. Opener Matt Renshaw, who was dumped ahead of the Ashes late last year but returned for the final Test in South Africa, fills one of them after a standout Sheffield Shield season.
- Art of concentration - The aggressive Finch, better known for his exploits in the shorter form of the game, was also included and is tipped to open the batting with Renshaw.
Coach Justin Langer said Finch was a natural leader and deserved the chance to prove his credentials at Test level.
"He's one of the core leaders of the group and I know he's waited a long time to be in the squad.
A slimmed-down Usman Khawaja, all-rounder Mitch Marsh and either Head or Labuschagne should fill out the middle-order ranks.
Langer said Maxwell needed to notch more big scores regularly to be in contention.
"I'd love to see Maxy score more hundreds and we've talked a lot together about the art of concentration and watching the ball like a hawk," he said.
"If he does that more regularly, he will make more hundreds and be much more pickable for Test cricket." Veteran Mitchell Starc will spearhead the bowling attack with either Neser or Doggett his potential new-ball partner.
And there was a recall after two years for workhorse quick Siddle on the back of his red-hot form in England this year with Essex.
"His experience will be crucial for this bowling group, and we know that he is a warrior who can bowl the type of long, tight spells which may be required in the conditions we expect to face," Hohns said of the 62-Test veteran.
Australia: Tim Paine (capt), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc