Australia have announced 14-player squad for the upcoming first Test against Pakistan in Perth, with the inclusion of uncapped fast bowler Lance Morris adding an element of excitement to the line-up.
The match is set to take place at the Perth Stadium, Morris’s home state of Western Australia.
Morris, displaying an impressive start to his first-class career, has notched up 74 wickets at an average of 25.44. The fast bowler, capable of reaching speeds up to 150kph, seems undeterred by his recent return from a back injury, having claimed 11 wickets in three outings during this season’s Sheffield Shield.
The pace attack for Australia boasts a formidable lineup, featuring the likes of captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Scott Boland. Adding to the versatility are pace-bowling all-rounders Cameron Green and Mitchell Marsh, both vying for a spot in the playing XI. Meanwhile, off-spinner Nathan Lyon secured his place in the squad after recovering from a calf injury that kept him out of the Ashes series, edging out Todd Murphy in the process.
In terms of batting, the usual suspects found their place in the squad, with Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, and Steve Smith being unsurprising inclusions. David Warner, an integral part of the group, is also retained, with no designated backup batter named. Players like Cameron Bancroft, Matt Renshaw, and Marcus Harris, competing for a spot, will have an opportunity to prove their mettle in the Prime Minister’s XI fixture against Pakistan on December 6.
George Bailey, the chair of the men’s selection panel, emphasized the merit-based selection, highlighting that the players who lifted the World Test Championship mace earlier in the year deserved the opportunity. However, Bailey acknowledged the scope for those on the fringes to contribute to Australia’s goals in the new World Test Championship cycle.
Australia Squad for First Test:
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
Shan Masood (c), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi