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Ashes 2019 | Bancroft, Wade and Marsh Named in Australia Squad

Cricketnext Staff |July 26, 2019, 6:28 PM IST
Ashes 2019 | Bancroft, Wade and Marsh Named in Australia Squad

Australia have included opener Cameron Bancroft for the first time since his return from a nine-month ban in a strong 17-member side for the Ashes, chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns announced on Friday (July 26).

Bancroft's return could see all the three players who had been banned for the ball-tampering fiasco after the Newlands Test against South Africa last year, line up in the same playing eleven. He scored an impressive 93 in the intra-squad match earlier this week and will push his case to partner David Warner at the top of the order.

Matthew Wade, who last played a Test back in August 2017, has also been called up as back up wicket-keeper to captain Tim Paine edging out the hugely talented, Alex Carey. Injury-prone speedster James Pattinson has also been named in the Test squad for the first time since 2016 with Australia naming as many as six pacers and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh in their setup. Uncapped medium Michael Neser is the only surprise inclusion in the side with Australia opting for a lone spinner in Nathan Lyon as they chase their first Ashes win on English soil since 2001.

"We have chosen 17 players as this gives us the cover and flexibility we believe we will need to ensure we are in good shape throughout a demanding schedule of five Test matches in just over six weeks," Hohns said. "We believe the squad is an excellent blend of high-quality batsmen and top-class fast bowlers, plus Nathan Lyon, who we regard as the world's best off-spinner in all conditions. It is a good mix of all the talents.

"David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft have forced their way back in to the Test squad through the excellence of their recent performances. David and Steve also have the advantage of being proven players at Test level while Cameron has produced impressive numbers for county side Durham this season and his innings in the intra-squad match in Southampton on a tough pitch was outstanding and showed his quality.

"Matthew Wade fully deserves his recall as he has made an irresistible case for inclusion through sheer weight of runs with 1021 first-class runs at home last summer followed by three hundred on the Australia A tour, including an excellent 114 against the England Lions at Canterbury last week."


Marnus Labuschagne and Marsh have been included in the side and will provide all-round options of varying degree. Marsh's inclusion, in particular, is a vindication of the excellent form he has shown over the last few months. He was dropped from all formats during the last Australian summer and missed out on a central contract in April. But with excellent returns with both bat and ball he has forced his way back into reckoning.

Kurtis Patterson and Joe Burns, who scored centuries during Australia's last Test against Sri Lanka in February have been left out.

"It has been a difficult task to reduce the 25-player squad here in Southampton down to 17 and those who have not made the final Ashes party are all desperately unlucky. However, that problem also highlights that we have a degree of depth to select from and that is a terrific positive," Hohns remarked.

Australia will go into the Ashes with a solid pace bowling attack. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins - all with more than 150 wickets to their name - will lead the bowling attack with the likes of Peter Siddle, Pattinson and Neser to follow.

Pattinson, who has been bowling exceedingly well for Victoria, Nottinghamshire and Australia A over the last nine months or so gets another crack at Test cricket after a long gap of three years.

"James Pattinson has demanded inclusion after impressing everyone on the Australia A tour with his pace and control, following on from a good season at home for Victoria, and he returns to the Test squad, as does Peter Siddle, who has been in fine form in county cricket for Essex," Hohns said

"Josh Hazlewood comes back after missing the Sri Lanka Test series and the World Cup as he recovered from a back injury and James, Peter and Josh, plus Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Michael Neser form a strong seam attack, with allrounder Mitchell Marsh also returning to the squad after impressing with bat and ball on the Australia A tour.

"We have opted to select one frontline spinner in Nathan Lyon. We have faith in his ability, we know our strength lies in our pace attack and we have Marnus Labuschagne's legspin as another spin option as he has bowled almost 200 overs for county side Glamorgan in first-class cricket this season."

The first Ashes Test will get underway on August 1 at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Australia's Ashes squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

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