Australia announced a 17 men’s squad for the first two Tests of the Ashes series on Wednesday. Veteran opener David Warner has been retained in Australia’s squad for the Ashes series in England.
Also, Pat Cummins returned to the team and continued his captaincy. Steve Smith, who captained Australia in India in Pat Cummins’ absence, will be his deputy.
The 36-year-old left-handed batsman David Warner’s future in cricket’s longest format has sparked speculation as he has not been getting runs for a long time. He also suffered an injury during Australia’s recent tour of India and missed most of the Test series before returning to limited-overs matches.
The squad announced for the start of the five-Test Ashes series includes current openers Usman Khawaja and Warner as well as two other candidates to open the batting – Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw – as options.
Cricket Australia has said they will reduce the squad to 15 men for the World Test Championship final starting June 7 at the London Oval in accordance with ICC rules for the WTC final.
The 31-year-old Mitchell Marsh has been brought back into the Test team after a long time as Cameron Green’s backup all-round option. He played the last of his 32 Tests during the 2019 Ashes series in England. He has since been sidelined by a number of injuries but showed his potential in the season’s only first-class game with a quick-fire century against Tasmania.
Todd Murphy, who made an impressive debut in India, is the team’s second spinner after veteran Nathan Lyon. Josh Inglis has been kept in the team as a reserve keeper-batsman behind Alex Carey.
On the other hand, batsman Peter Handscomb and spinners Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson and Matt Kuhnemann were not retained from the squad which toured India. Pace bowler Lance Morris dropped from the squad due to injury.
Along with Pat Cummins, there will be three other specialist pacers in the bowling department, Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Scott Boland.
Cricket Australia selector George Bailey said about this “The UK is a very different assignment from our most recent tour of India and some of the changes are based upon the conditions we are anticipating.”
With the Ashes starting on June 16 in Birmingham, the selectors have hinted that changes to the squad for the remaining matches may depend on the performance in the first two matches of the series.
Australia’s WTC Final and Ashes Squad:
Pat Cummins (C), Steve Smith (VC), David Warner, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc.
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