Ashes 2021-2022: Australia announced a strong 15 man squad for the first two Tests of the Ashes 2021-2022 series. The selectors have included veteran batsman Usman Khwaja in the squad for the first two tests. Usman Khwaja who hasn’t featured in a test match for more than two years has received a call-up on the back of his blistering form in this season of Sheffield Shield.
The selectors have also included leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson as Nathan Lyon’s backup & Marcus Harris as David Warner’s opening partner. Harris is promoted at the top of the order by the selectors’ chairman George Bailey.
Michael Neser who has returned back to training after suffering a mild hamstring strain has been included in the squad along with Jhye Richardson as the backup for the pace trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood.
“Jhye is seeing the rewards of concentrating on his red-ball cricket in the build-up to this series,” Bailey said. “We know he has an exceptional skill set and is excited about what he brings to the team now his body is back on track.
“Marcus has been a consistent run-scorer domestically and had a strong winter further developing his game with Leicestershire. He is a good player who will be looking to build a strong partnership with David Warner at the top of the order.
“Travis finished last summer strongly, second only to Cameron Green for runs scored, and has again started the season well. He drives the game forward and can put the opposition under pressure with his ability to score quickly. Similarly, Usman Khawaja has been in great touch. He brings a calm, consistent and experienced component to the batting lineup and is a proven run-scorer at the Test level. He also has the ability to bat across a range of positions in the batting order.”
The selectors have also named an 11 player Australia A side who will play an intrasquad match with the selected players from December 1-3 as a part of their preparation for the iconic Ashes series.
Mitchell Starc who has starred in Australia’s historic triumph in the final of the T20 World Cup 2021 has been named in Australia A team that also has the likes of Matt Renshaw and Nic Maddinson, who received a call-up for their recent form in the Sheffield Shield fixtures.
Ashes 2021-2022, Australia Test squad:
Tim Paine (C), Pat Cummins (VC), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
Australia A players:
Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Henry Hunt, Josh Inglis, Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Marsh, Matt Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street
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