Sydney, Nov 17 (IANS) Cricket Australia (CA) on Friday raised a few eyebrows by recalling wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine after a seven-year absence from Test cricket for the first two Ashes Tests against England in Brisbane and Adelaide.
The 32-year-old Paine’s shock inclusion comes as opener Cameron Bancroft was also named in the 13-man squad along with veteran batsman Shaun Marsh.
The trio will replace Matthew Wade, Matt Renshaw and Glenn Maxwell in Australia’s Test team.
Bancroft, 24, is set to open the batting alongside vice-captain David Warner and become Australia’s 451st Test player.
National Selector Trevor Hohns said Bancroft had earned his call-up to the Test side.
“Cameron has been a player of interest to us for some time now, having been unlucky to miss out on the Test tour to Bangladesh that was cancelled in 2015.
“He is a very talented and tough cricketer who shows a good temperament for Test cricke,” Hons was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Hons reasoned Paine’s better glovework behind his selection ahead of Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill.
“Paine was identified as an international player a long time ago and has always been renowned as a very good gloveman, also performing well for us whenever he has represented Australia in any format,” said Hohns.
On Marsh’s selection, Hons said: “He is a versatile player who can slot in anywhere in the batting order and will add valuable experience to the batting line-up.”
The home side also strengthened their bowling by including South Australia’s Chadd Sayers, who could be in line for a debut in the day-night affair on his home turf at the Adelaide Oval for the second Test.
“Chadd’s inclusion in the squad is with a view to the Adelaide Test and the conditions that we may see there,” said Hohns.
“He swings the ball with good control and knows the conditions well at his home ground. He gives us this bowling option if required,” he added.
The opening Test will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane from November 23-27 while the historic second day-night match will be played in Adelaide from December 2-6.
Australia squad for first two Tests: Steven Smith (Captain), David Warner (vice-capt), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (WK), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers.
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