Australia, on Wednesday, announced their Test squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. In the wake of the series defeat against India at home, the Australian selectors have dropped quite a few surprises. They have named uncapped Victorian batsman Will Pucovski in the Test squad. Pucovski will join recalled Matt Renshaw and Joe Burns in the 13-man squad.
Te selectors have also wielded the axe on the batsmen for their poor show against India. Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb and Marsh brothers have found themselves out of the side. Australia, however, has decided against changing the bowling lineup that struggled against India.
Speaking on the selections, national selection panel chief Trevor Hohns said:
“Joe Burns has had strong performances in first-class cricket this season, and we believe he can contribute strongly if given the chance in the series.
“Matt Renshaw is a player with the ability to make big scores, and at 22 years old has 10 first-class centuries. He also performed extremely well in England during the County season. We see him as a long-term prospect as a Test player and have confidence in his ability to bounce back following a string of low scores early in the Shield season.
“Will Pucovski is an exciting young player who is making his mark in the Sheffield Shield. He is another player with a track record of making centuries. We look forward to him joining the squad and congratulate him on his first national call-up,” he added.
A highly-rated youngster, Pucovski scored 243 against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield in October last year before he took an indefinite break from cricket on mental health reasons. In eight first-class appearances, the 20-year old has so far nearly 600 runs at an average of 49, with two hundreds and a half-century.
Renshaw, on the other hand, had a good outing in county cricket. Playing for Somerset, he scored 513 runs at an average of 51.30 with three hundreds and a fifty in six matches. Burns has been in good form in the current Sheffield Shield season, scoring 472 runs at 47.20 with four half-centuries.
The Test series begins on January 24 with Brisbane hosting the first Test. The second and final Test will be played at the Manuka Oval in Canberra from February 1.
Australia Test squad:
Tim Paine (c), Josh Hazlewood, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle