Khawaja headlines strong Australia A squad for tour of South Africa

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    Usman Khawaja could soon be plunged into the middle of the acrimonious pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the players’ union, having been named captain of Australia A.

    CA announced 14-man squads for the one-day and first-class legs of the tour of South Africa that starts on July 12.

    Khawaja and vice-captain Glenn Maxwell headline the players selected, all of whom will be keen to impress in the whites ahead of this summer’s Ashes.

    However, there remains a question mark around their participation because the trip is the first tour covered in the next contract period. The current Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) expires on June 30.

    If they remain deadlocked, CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) have the option of signing a short-term extension.

    CA boss James Sutherland indicated last week that wasn’t on the cards, essentially threatening players with the prospect of unemployment.

    Stalled discussions between CA and the ACA have become tense during the past week.

    Australia vice-captain David Warner fired back at Sutherland, noting “if it gets to the extreme they might not have a team for the Ashes”.

    The dispute is centred on CA’s wish to ditch the revenue-sharing model that has shaped players’ salaries since the first MoU was brokered 20 years ago.

    “Selectors have chosen this squad irrespective and independent of the status of the MoU,” CA high-performance boss Pat Howard said of the Australia A tour.

    “We are confident that there will be a resolution in place by 30 June.”

    Khawaja was one of Australia’s best and most consistent performers during the past two home summers but found himself out of favour during this year’s four-Test series in India.

    Maxwell is part of the incumbent Test XI, having crafted his maiden Test ton after being recalled to the side during the tour of India.

    “Khawaja is a proven leader and has captained Australia A before,” chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said.

    “He will gel nicely with Glenn, who recently had some captaincy experience in the IPL and we believe will respond well to this extra responsibility.”

    Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird and Mitchell Swepson, who all toured India earlier this year, will also feature in the two first-class games against South Africa A.

    Allrounder Hilton Cartwright, who made his Test debut at the SCG this year, and swing specialist Chadd Sayers, who was on the cusp of a Test debut during the recent home summer, are also set to tour South Africa.

    Travis Head, who has played 29 limited-overs games for Australia, is another member of the squad close to donning the baggy green.

    Head will captain Australia A in the one-day section of the tour, playing alongside Moises Henriques, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson and Scott Boland.

    Australia A four-day squad: Usman Khawaja (capt), Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Jackson Bird, Alex Carey, Hilton Cartwright, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth.

    Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (capt), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Hilton Cartwright, Sam Heazlett, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • May 19th 2017 @ 3:31pm
      McNaulty said | May 19th 2017 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

      Someone remind me why the heck Kawaja is in the second 11?
      He is the second or third best batsman in the country depending which type of a deck Warner is on.

      • May 19th 2017 @ 4:08pm
        BurgyGreen said | May 19th 2017 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

        I’d assume they’re giving him, Maxwell and Bird some 4-day practice, Australia’s not playing any internationals at the time (I don’t think).

        • Columnist

          May 20th 2017 @ 8:37pm
          Ronan O'Connell said | May 20th 2017 @ 8:37pm | ! Report

          Khawaja is Australia’s 3rd best Test batsman on roads or pace-friendly pitches but on dry Asian-style pitches he’s way back in the pecking order.

          He looks terrified playing spin on dry decks as we saw in England 2013 and in Sri Lanka in 2011 and 2016.

          • May 20th 2017 @ 9:01pm
            Pope Paul VII said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

            2011? He did well in a low scoring match. 2013 was solely his fault ? Plenty of mates in 2016 SL as well. Marsh, the old horse for the course averaged 18. Warner, Renshaw and Handscomb all under 30. The pecking order is pretty short.

          • May 20th 2017 @ 11:26pm
            Amith said | May 20th 2017 @ 11:26pm | ! Report

            Ronan you base this off his 2 tests in Sri Lanka, i saw hm this summer against Pakistan’s yasir shah and he looked brilliant, this is just a excuse to keep him out. And For those who say Khawaja should not have played in India because of his terrible form in one test in Sri Lanka, Will Dave Warner ever tour the sub continent again ? And wasn’t Ussie dropped for the best player of spin in Sri Lanka in S. Marsh, just doesn’t make sense does it.

            • May 22nd 2017 @ 11:16am
              Stephen said | May 22nd 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

              Khawaja is a lock in for the Gabba test but the way we have managed him for the ODIs and test would lead people to getting fired, leaving him out of the last dead rubber in Adelaide One dayer against pakistan, then resting him for the NZ series so he can be ready for India and not playing him against India only to leave him out of the champions trophy, thats pathetic management of one of our best players

    • May 19th 2017 @ 4:00pm
      BurgyGreen said | May 19th 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

      Interesting to see the apparently out-of-favour Khawaja and Maxwell given the leadership positions.

      Strong 4 day squad though. Not really sure why Bancroft is there as the only specialist opener – he had poor Shield season while guys like Harris and Dean were solid but missed out here. First XI probably looks like this (although the selectors will probably play Wildermuth or Agar at 6):

      1. Khawaja
      2. Bancroft
      3. Cartwright
      4. Maxwell
      5. Patterson
      6. Head
      7. Wildermuth
      8. Behrendhorff
      9. Sayers
      10. Swepson
      11. Bird

      The one-day squad looks pretty weak though to be honest.

      1. Head
      2. Hughes
      3. Stoinis
      4. Henriques
      5. Heazlett
      6. Cartwright
      7. Carey
      8. Agar
      9. Behrendhorff
      10. Tremain
      11. Richardson

      • May 19th 2017 @ 5:56pm
        Tristan said | May 19th 2017 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

        May need a wicketkeeper in that 4 day team (Bancroft to open and keep is too much, and he isn’t clean enough with the gloves). Carey in for Wildemuth.

        • May 19th 2017 @ 7:59pm
          BurgyGreen said | May 19th 2017 @ 7:59pm | ! Report

          Oops you’re right somehow I put Wildermuth instead of Carey, definitely wouldn’t give the gloves to a stuggling opener

    • May 19th 2017 @ 4:07pm
      qwetzen said | May 19th 2017 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

      Can’t complain about the 4 day squad. And I assume that this means that Carey is NIL.
      Wonder if we’ll be able to pick up any live footage from the web?

    • May 19th 2017 @ 5:37pm
      Pope Paul VII said | May 19th 2017 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

      Will Ussie get a game though?

      • May 20th 2017 @ 11:27pm
        Amith said | May 20th 2017 @ 11:27pm | ! Report

        Khawaja was our best test batsman this summer, it is a honour to captain Aus A but its a disgrace that he didnt’ play in India, how did Shaun Marsh go again, got a average of 20.

        • May 22nd 2017 @ 11:24am
          Stephen said | May 22nd 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

          I said this above and it holds true here. Leaving him out of the last dead rubber in Adelaide One dayer against pakistan was wrong, then resting him for the NZ series so he can be ready for India and not playing him against India only to leave him out of the champions trophy, thats pathetic management of one of our best players

    • May 19th 2017 @ 5:55pm
      Tristan said | May 19th 2017 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

      Did James Faulkner run over Hohns’ dog?

    • May 19th 2017 @ 9:09pm
      davSA said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:09pm | ! Report

      Good question Qwetzen . I have tried to see if Supersport will broadcast but am finding zip . They don’t have a good track record broadcasting SA A games . But it is the Old Enemy so interest may be up. Looking at the Aussie squad it is going to be a good series. SA has names like Bavuma , Shamsti , Pretorius and watch out for a guy called Aiden Markram . A big talent . There is an outside possibility Dale Steyn may be in the squad if he is not yet fit for the prior England A series.

      • May 29th 2017 @ 9:55pm
        Bakkies said | May 29th 2017 @ 9:55pm | ! Report

        Will be interesting to see how Markram goes against quality bowlers.

        The blokes who only did net sessions in India need a run

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