Cricket Australia, on Wednesday (May 30), named Mitchell Marsh as the skipper for Australia A’s tour of India A in September this year. The all-rounder will lead the side in the two four-day unofficial Tests.
On the other hand, Travis Head will lead the one-day side that will compete in a tri-series against India A and South Africa A in August ahead of the four-day games.
CA has named a strong squad for the four-day games. The team is full of players with international experience, as the likes of Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Joel Paris and Matthew Renshaw making the cut. Alex Carey has been named as Marsh’s deputy.
Trevor Hohns, the national selector, said the board is keen to look into the players’ leadership skills.
“We’re looking for leaders for future Australian teams, and Travis, Mitch and Alex are all very impressive young men,” national selector Trevor Hohns said.
“Travis and Mitch both have captaincy experience at state level. And this is an exciting opportunity for them to lead a new group of players in different conditions.
“Alex, as our Twenty20 vice-captain in the UK and Zimbabwe, is also someone we rate very highly as a leader. And this is another opportunity for him to develop those skills,” he added.
Recently, former Australia star Adam Gilchrist had backed Marsh to be Tim Paine’s vice-captain. Marsh, who had led Australia to Under-19 World Cup glory in 2010, now has a good opportunity to make his mark as captain.
The tour will also give the players an opportunity to prepare for the two-Test tour against Pakistan in the UAE.
Australia have endured a terrible time in the subcontinent in recent times. Moreover, with Steven Smith and David Warner currently facing the bans, they face a herculean task against Pakistan.
Four years ago, they had lost the corresponding series 2-0 and will be desperate to turn the tables this time around.
Meanwhile, there are also some notable absentees from the A squad. The likes of Joe Burns, Glenn Maxwell and Shaun Marsh, who were in Australia’s Test squad for the final match of the South Africa tour, could not make it to the four-day squad.
Hohns, however, made it clear the selectors are happy with the squad.
“We’re really pleased with the squads we have assembled for this tour,” Hohns said.
“We’ve got a couple of really experienced international cricketers, a large group who have had a taste of playing for Australia already. And some emerging players who have performed strongly. We believe they have the potential to one day play for their country.
“It’s an extremely important tour. As we look for players, who can adapt and find ways to excel in sub-continent conditions.
“With Australia’s series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates fast approaching, it’s a chance for some players to push for selection for that series, and for all players to gain experience in sub-continent conditions.”
Australia A four-day squad:
Mitchell Marsh (c). Alex Carey (vc). Ashton Agar. Brendan Doggett. Peter Handscomb. Travis Head. Jon Holland. Usman Khawaja. Michael Neser. Joel Paris. Kurtis Patterson. Matthew Renshaw. Mitch Swepson. Chris Tremain
Australia A one-day squad:
Travis Head (c). Alex Carey (vc). Ashton Agar. Peter Handscomb. Usman Khawaja. Marnus Labuschagne. Michael Neser. Matthew Renshaw. Jhye Richardson. D’Arcy Short. Billy Stanlake. Mitch Swepson. Chris Tremain. Jack Wildermuth