Friday, July 12, 2024

Morris recalled as Australia name squad for Perth Test against Pakistan

Australia on Sunday named 14-man squad for the opening Test of the three-match series against Pakistan in Perth, with fast bowler Lance Morris being the only uncapped player and could make his Test debut at Perth Stadium.

Capable of hitting 150kph on the speed gun, Morris looks uninhibited after returning from a back injury that ruled him out of Ashes series, taking 11 wickets in three outings in this season’s Sheffield Shield.

Morris joins a world-class pace set up, including captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Scott Boland.

Pace-bowling all-rounders Cameron Green, who lost his spot in the playing XI to Mitchell Marsh during the Ashes, has been named in the squad, with Alex Carey retained as wicketkeeper after being dumped as Australia’s one-day gloveman during the World Cup campaign.

Scott Boland has also been named in the squad and Nathan Lyon returns at the expense of Todd Murphy, having recovered from the calf injury that ruled him out of the Ashes series, but selectors have opted against naming a specialist back-up batter with a looming showdown in the Prime Minister’s XI clash in Canberra.

On the batting front, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith were unsurprising inclusions, with David Warner also remaining an integral part of the group, given no back-up batter was named. Those in the running for a place in the squad, namely Cameron Bancroft, Matt Renshaw and Marcus Harris, have been named in the Prime Minister’s XI to play Pakistan in an audition on December 6.

Thirteen of the current squad were involved in the WTC final and successful Ashes defence, while 10 of the Test squad were also involved in the successful ODI World Cup campaign in India.

Men’s selection panel chair George Bailey said: “This group, led by Pat Cummins, has built a strong resume over an extended period. We believe they have earnt the opportunity to start in our first home Test match at the beginning of the new World Test Championship cycle.

“As ever, there will be opportunities in the short to medium term to break into this squad and we look forward to seeing the continued strong performances from players who have been performing domestically, many of whom will get a tremendous opportunity in the PM’s XI fixture against Pakistan later this week.”

Australia’ First Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, David Warner

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