Hilton Cartwright handed debut for third Test as O'Keefe makes comeback

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Hilton Cartwright
Hilton Cartwright of the Warriors bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between the Cricket Australia XI and Western Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

As expected, the Australia team management has drafted in Hilton Cartwright for the final Test match against Pakistan at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground. Very few players have gone on to become the beneficiaries of making their Test match debuts at the historic SCG and it would now seem as though Cartwright’s impressive performances at the SCG have been quite phenomenal, to say the least, to earn him a spot in Australia’s roster.

Steve Smith, however, also went on to add that Nathan Lyon would keep his place in the side despite the speculation going on at the moment. But, in what was a double U-turn, it was clear that Steve O’Keefe would also come into the side which sees the Aussies play two spinners meaning that Jackson Bird, who bowled quite well at the MCG will be the one to get the axe.

“He bowled particularly well in Melbourne, but conditions sometimes change the team,” Steve Smith said of Bird. “We’re playing the two spinners, traditionally out here it does take some spin.”

Smit went on to add that Cartwright provided the extra bowling option as well. “(Cartwright is an) extra bowling option to go with the two quicks and the two spinners,” Smith said at the SCG on the pre-match day. “It just adds a little bit to the bowling stocks, and he deserves an opportunity to play at No.6.

“Greg (Chappell) told him just over at the nets probably half an hour ago. I bumped into him in the change room just now and he seemed pretty excited, a big grin on his face, as you should when you’re about to debut for your country. It’s a dream come true for everyone that gets the opportunity and hopefully he can take his opportunity with both hands,” added the Australia skipper.

Australia: David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (capt), Peter Handscomb, Hilton Cartwright, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Steve O’Keefe, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon.

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