Australia retain the same squad for the Boxing Day Test

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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 19: The Australian team celebrates victory during day five of the First Test match between Australia and Pakistan at The Gabba on December 19, 2016, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Australia named an unchanged 12 man squad for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). After a fascinating Gabba Test where the visitors almost chased down a mammoth 490 in their 2nd innings, Australia will be wary of the fact that Pakistan are no pushovers and they can’t take a series victory for granted. Pakistan who was skittled out for a meagre 142 in their 1st innings fought very hard and almost snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Asad Shafiq scored a magnificent century and was well supported by tail enders namely Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah.

Following their nerve-wracking win, Australia has decided to keep medium pacer Chadd Sayers in their squad for the 2nd Test despite him not featuring in the Playing XI for the Pink ball Test. Selectors had earlier mentioned that Shaun Marsh was unlikely to get fit for the 2nd Test and was automatically left out from the squad. He is still recuperating from a finger injury which he sustained during the opening Test of the summer against the Proteas.

“He will be assessed by a specialist this week and will hopefully be given the all clear to return to unrestricted training,” interim chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said. However, he revealed that they had the option of extending their squad if any players looked rusty after an absorbing opening Test at the Gabba, Brisbane.

“We have the option to add to the squad depending on how the bowling unit pulls up after getting through a lot of overs in Brisbane,” Hohns said.

“These players have performed extremely well in earning back-to-back Test victories against South Africa and Pakistan and deserve the opportunity to stay together as a group to continue their development,” he further added. Hohns also said that the squad has been selected only for the Melbourne Test and further assessment would be made for picking the squad for the final Test.

Australia squad for the 2nd Test:

Matt Renshaw, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (capt), Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers.


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