Five uncapped players named in Australia squad for Pakistan Tests

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Australia have named five uncapped players in their 15-member squad for the two-Test series against Pakistan, set to begin on October 7. The team led by Tim Paine, will feature Queensland’s trio of Michael Neser, Brendan Doggett and Marnus Labuschagne, apart from Travis Head and Aaron Finch – all of whom are yet to make their debuts.
“There has been significant change to our Test squad, due to the unavailability of a number of key players,” Trevor Hohns, Australia’s national selector said on Tuesday (September 11) said. “That said, we firmly believe the squad selected is up to the challenge ahead, and is capable of playing a brand of cricket that can perform well in this series against Pakistan.
“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.
“Looking at the conditions we may face in the UAE, we believe this squad covers all bases. We have selected four front-line fast bowlers and three spinners, with Mitchell Marsh ready to play as an all-rounder and a number of top-order batsmen who also offer part-time spin options.”
As part of the preparation for the UAE tour, Australia had organised a training camp in Brisbane last month and also sent an ‘A’ team, comprising of several Test and fringe players, to India for two unofficial Test matches, apart from a one-day quadrangular series.
Of the players, who are currently a part of the ‘A’ team in India, Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Michael Neser, Marnus Labuschagne and Matt Renshaw have been selected in the national squad.
While Peter Siddle, a 62-Test veteran, has been recalled to the side, the likes of Joe Burns, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, and Jhye Richardson were considered but missed the cut. “Peter is a proven performer in the Test arena, who has been in outstanding form in his recent first-class outings over in England,” Hohns added. “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.
“Joe, Handscomb and Glenn were players we discussed when selecting the batting group, but we had to take into account the conditions and competition we are set to face in the upcoming series. All three remain on our radar for Test cricket, but we want them to perform for their states and continue to push their case ahead of what is going to be a big Australian summer.
“Jhye is a player who has a bright future in all formats, and has been impressive in his international opportunities to date. He is one of a number of developing bowlers adding to the depth of our fast bowling group, and we see him potentially having an important role to play in the shorter formats of the game in the immediate future.”
Speaking about the five debutants, Hohns said, that they have earned their call-up on the basis of some strong domestic performances. Shedding light on their selections, he said, “Aaron is in sensational form, and this is the right time to give him a chance to play Test cricket. He has performed well in the Sheffield Shield in recent seasons, and brings added experience and leadership to this group.