Australia Announce Squad For Pakistan Tests; Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns Included
Australia have recalled Cameron Bancroft in their Test squad for the upcoming two-match series against Pakistan. Australia announced the squad on Thursday with Bancroft being one of three specialist openers in the 14-man squad. The other two openers in the team are David Warner and Queensland’s Joe Burns. Burns’ recall means Marcus Harris, who was the incumbent opener having played the last three Ashes Tests, lost his place in the team.
Harris managed just 58 runs in six innings after replacing Bancroft during the Ashes. The left-handed batsman regained his form in domestic season by scoring a century and two fifties but it did not make much difference. Burns, on the other hand, recently failed twice against Pakistan in the tour game. However, Australia decided to recall the opener who has scored four centuries in 16 Tests.
Travis Head is also set to regain his berth in the middle-order after young Victoria batsman Will Pucovski made himself unavailable for selection due to mental health issues. Head had lost his place during the Ashes after a string of poor outings. Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith are looking set to bat at number three and four respectively.
The hosts have named five fast bowlers for the series. In addition to the four-pronged pace battery of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson, uncapped seamer Michael Neser has also been included.
Meanwhile, along with Harris, Usman Khawaja and Peter Siddle have not found a place in the squad. Khawaja was a part of Australia A side that played against Pakistan but failed to do well. Khawaja has been struggling in red-ball cricket this season, having scored only 59 runs at an average of 11.8 in his five Sheffield Shield innings.
Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner