Batsmen Maxwell, Khawaja recalled to Oz Test squad


Melbourne, Sep 14 : Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday recalled batsmen Glenn Maxwell, Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns, spinner Stephen O’Keefe, while resting pace bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazzlewood for the side’s away two-match Test series against Bangladesh.

The squad, to be led by newly appointed Test captain Steve Smith, features two uncapped players — 22-year-old Western Australia top-order batsman Cameron Bancroft and 30-year-old Tasmania fast bowler Andrew Fekete.

It includes eight players — Smith, Nathan Lyon, Shaun and Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc and Adam Voges — from the most recent Test squad that toured England where they lost the Ashes series 2-3.

Players who featured in that squad but are now absent are the retired quintet of Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Chris Rogers and Shane Watson, as well as fast bowlers Johnson and Hazlewood, both recuperating after high workloads in the West Indies and in the Ashes series, opening batsman David Warner who fractured his left thumb in the One-Day International series against England, and leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed.

Voges as vice-captain, and that nomination has been ratified by Cricket Australia’s Board of Directors. Voges fills the role in the absence of Warner.

Commenting on the line-up to tour Bangladesh, national selector Rodney Marsh said in a statement: “The retirements of five players from the squad that went on the Ashes tour, as well as issues of injury, form and conditions have brought about a major change in the profile of the touring party from the one that toured the British Isles.

“But with that change comes a fantastic opportunity for all the players going to Bangladesh. They are going as a young group with seven of the players aged 26 or less, and all 15 have the opportunity to kick on and, in the case of Cameron Bancroft and Andrew Fekete, kick off their Test careers and establish themselves as the core of the side for years to come.”

The series that starts on October 9 will mark Smith as the captain for the first time.

“It is an exciting time to be involved in Australian cricket, with a new captain in Steve Smith and a crop of hugely talented players alongside him with the chance to forge a bright future for our national side,” Rodney Marsh said.

Bancroft scored 896 first-class runs last summer, including 211 against New South Wales in Perth in March, while Fekete took 37 wickets — more than any other fast bowler in domestic cricket — during the same Sheffield Shield season.

Marsh said: “Cameron is a player who impressed everyone on the recent A tour of India.

“He can bat for long periods of time and scored an outstanding 150 against India A in Chennai. On that tour he played spin well, fielded brilliantly at bat-pad and his whole demeanour was that of a player who is determined to play Test cricket.”

“Andrew bowled really well last summer and followed that up on the A tour. He can generate reverse swing and that ability could be extremely useful in the conditions we expect to encounter in Bangladesh.”

And on Voges’ nomination as Smith’s vice-captain, Marsh added: “In Adam we have a hugely experienced player who we feel sure will be a great influence around the group and also someone who will be an invaluable asset for Steve Smith on his first Test tour as captain.”

The players are scheduled to depart from home ports on September 28 and arrive in Dhaka ahead of a tour match in Fatullah from October 3-5.

The squad: Steve Smith (captain), Adam Voges (vice-captain), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Patrick Cummins, Andrew Fekete, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Nevill, Stephen O’Keefe, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc.


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