Cricket Australia today announced the 14-member Test squad for Pakistan Test series recalling opener Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns and pacer Michael Neser at the expense of Usman Khawaja, Marcus Harris and Peter Siddle.
Young Victoria batsman Will Pucovski made himself unavailable for selection due to mental health concerns, meaning Travis Head will likely be slotted in the middle-order along side Marnus Labuschange at No.3 and Steve Smith at No.4.
Test vice-captain David Warner will have the company of either Burns or Bancroft in the first Test starting on November 21 at Brisbane.
The pace quartet of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson will have the support of Neser, but it will be interesting to see which three or four from the five makes it to the playing XI for the first Test, keeping in mind CA’s rotation policy with their pacers.
Bancroft was a late addition to the Australia A line-up for this week’s tour game against Pakistan in Perth, earning a call-up when Victoria batter Nic Maddinson withdrew on mental health grounds, reported cricket.com.au.
Head has also been in strong first-class form, with his SA coach Jamie Siddons rating the Redbacks’ captain’s century against a Test-strength New South Wales attack earlier this month as “the best hundred I’ve seen for the year”.
Australia squad for Test Series v Pakistan – Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head (vc), Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner