Joe Burns has been recalled to the Australian squad at the expense of fellow opener Marcus Harris for the first Test against Pakistan.
Despite battling through an unspectacular shield season and a poor showing in the Australia A game against Pakistan, the Queensland opener has taken Marcus Harris’ spot in the 14-man squad named for the first Test against Pakistan next Thursday.
Burns made 0 and 11 for Australia A in Perth, to go with scores of 13, 52, 39, 22 and 76 in the Shield.
His inclusion proves ironic, given the public perception that he’s traditionally been treated harshly by selectors.
He’s no guarantee to walk into the XI, however. Cameron Bancroft is also in the squad, creating some competition for the second opening spot alongside David Warner, who is thought to be a lock.
Travis Head has also been included which, in Usman Khawaja’s absence, seems to settle the makeup of the middle order.
Head was previously thought to be competing with Will Pucovski for the last spot, but the 21-year-old asked not to be picked as he takes a break to deal with mental health issues.
The selectors have also named six bowlers, with pacemen Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Michael Neser, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc all included alongside spinner Nathan Lyon.
In total three players have been dropped from the fifth Ashes Test – the last red-ball fixture Australia’s men have played – with Peter Siddle, the injured Mitch Marsh and Harris all missing out.
The actual XI that plays in the first Test will be announced at the coin toss on Day 1.
Test starts Thursday, November 21 at The Gabba
Tim Paine (c, wk), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head (vc), Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner