Australia vs India: CA announces the 14-man squad for the first two Tests
The first two Tests will be played in Adelaide and Perth.
Updated - Nov 22, 2018 10:37 am
Cricket Australia (CA) has announced the 14-man squad for the first two of the four-match Test series against India which is starting on December 6. The Victoria opener Marcus Harris has been rewarded for his consistency in the Sheffield Shield season as he has earned a maiden call-up to the Test squad. Even Peter Handscomb is back in the mix after missing out on the Pakistan series in the UAE.
Harris is the highest run-getter in the ongoing Shield season at the moment with 437 runs to his name in six matches with the best score of 250*. Meanwhile, Matt Renshaw hasn’t been included once again for the home series after missing two Test matches in the UAE. He was hit on the helmet and due to concussion problems and lack of match-practice ahead of the series, couldn’t make it to the playing XI.
“Marcus Harris has forced his way into the squad after an impressive start to the Sheffield Shield campaign for Victoria, and in recent times has performed in high pressure matches, including Sheffield Shield finals. Not only has he made plenty of runs, he’s displayed the mental application we believe is required to compete at Test cricket,” the national selector Trevor Hohns was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
Usman Khawaja is fit
Chris Tremain is the other victorian player in the squad who has set the stage on fire with the ball in the first-class cricket. He has so far scalped 24 wickets in eight innings which includes three five-wicket hauls as well. Usman Khawaja has retained his place in the line-up after facing a real test against time to get fit before the series opener in Adelaide. He will play one Sheffield Shield game ahead of the series though to prove his match fitness.
Cricket Australia has stated in their media release that 12-man shortlist will be announced ahead of every game while the other two cricketers will be released to play the domestic season. “We will select a final team of 12 prior to each Test, and the two remaining squad members will be released to get important match time in the Sheffield Shield. We believe all players chosen deserve their selection in the squad, and we’re confident given the opportunity all will apply themselves well against India,” Hohns added.
Australia squad for first two Tests: Aaron Finch, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh (vc), Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (c,wk), Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain, Peter Siddle.