Melbourne, Dec 3 (IANS) Australia have announced their squad for the upcoming three-Test series against New Zealand in which it has retained 13 players out of the 14 who were part of the series against Pakistan which the hosts won 2-0. The only omission from the squad is that of extra batsman Cameron Bancroft.
Bancroft though remains attached to the squad as a standby player. James Pattinson – who returned to the fold after serving a ban – and Michael Neser will also continue to serve as reserve pacemen.
“As we said prior to the Pakistan series we are striving to maintain a core group of players. The performance of the team against Pakistan was very impressive across all areas, while there is always some room to improve,” said national selector Trevor Hohns in a statement.
“David Warner has been in exceptional form with the bat. The support he received from Joe Burns in Brisbane and Marnus Labuschagne in Adelaide was exactly what we had been asking for from the top order. They delivered, setting up both matches in what was an outstanding all-round performance.
“We are backing the current batting line-up to continue their form across the next three Tests. Whilst not a part of this squad, Cameron Bancroft remains one of the standby players. Similarly, depending on conditions, we reserve the right to add a player to the squad at any time during the series.
“Michael Neser and James Pattinson will continue as cover for Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood through the series,” he added.
On Monday, Australia completed the 2-0 series sweep over Pakistan l. They had won the first Test by an innings and five runs at The Gabba while they bettered their performance at the Adelaide Oval by winning the match by an innings and 48 runs.
Australia will host New Zealand in a three-match Test series beginning with a day-night game in Perth from December 12. The second Test begins on Boxing Day at the MCG and the final fixture will be played at the SCG from January 3, 2020.
Squad: Tim Paine (c), Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazelwood, Travis Head (vc), Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson.