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Young stars headline Australian Test squad for India series

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12th November, 2020
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Will Pucovski, Cameron Green and Mitchell Swepson have all been named in Australia’s Test squad to face India this summer.

The 17-man squad, announced by Cricket Australia on Thursday afternoon, also includes two further potential debutants in Sean Abbott and Michael Neser.

There are no real surprises though, with all 11 players who took to the field in Australia’s last Test in January making the cut, as well as New South Wales fast bowler Josh Hazlewood.

Selectors also named a 19-man Australia A squad to take on India in two warm-up matches. That group contains nine of the players picked for the Tests, including Pucovski, Neser, Abbott, Swepson, Green and captain Tim Paine, as well as a number who have excelled in the Sheffield Shield season to date, such as Marcus Harris, Moises Henriques and Jackson Bird.

All eyes will be on Pucovski and incumbent opening batsman Joe Burns in those warm-ups, with the two likely to be batting off for the right to partner David Warner at the top of the order in the Tests.

While Burns played a part in Australia’s undefeated Test summer last season, he failed to score a century – falling three runs short in the opening match against Pakistan – and finished the five games with an average of 32.

The Queenslander’s form in the Sheffield Shield so far hasn’t helped his cause, scoring just 57 runs att 11.4 from five innings.

Pucovski, on the other hand, has been in imperious touch for Victoria. Despite batting just three times, he’s atop the competition run-scoring charts with 495 at the incredible average of 247.5, having made consecutive double centuries after being promoted to open the batting for the first time in his first-class career.

The warm-up matches will be played from December 6-8 at Drummoyne Oval and 11-13 at the SCG, the latter of which is a day-night fixture, before the first Test begins on December 17 in Adelaide.

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Speaking of the debutants named in the Test squad, head selector Trevor Hohns labelled Pucovski and Green “standout players”.

“Two of those many standout players were, of course, Cameron Green and Will Pucovski. Their undeniable form demanded selection and we are very pleased to have these young men in the squad for what will be a tremendous Test series against an extremely formidable opponent,” Hohns said.

“Cameron has already won selection in the white ball squad and continues that in joining the Test squad. He is a wonderful young talent who has great potential to become an all-rounder of substance over time. His batting alone has demanded his place in the squad.

“Will’s record-breaking start to the summer has been exceptional. His ability to show such patience is something which stands him in good stead for Test cricket and he is in rare company with two double centuries to start the summer. We very much look forward to Will developing further on the international stage.

“Mitch Swepson is another who has excelled and is in fine form for Queensland. He gives the side a strong second spin option to Nathan Lyon and we feel he is ready and deserving of the opportunity.

“Sean Abbott has also been outstanding at the start of the summer and comes into his first Test squad as a very strong fast bowling option. Add that to his recent batting form over the last 12 months he presents a very complete package in the squad.”

Australia Test squad to face India

Sean Abbott (NSW)
Joe Burns (QLD)
Pat Cummins (NSW) (vc)
Cameron Green (WA)
Josh Hazlewood (NSW)
Travis Head (SA)
Marnus Labuschagne (QLD)
Nathan Lyon (NSW)
Michael Neser (QLD)
Tim Paine (TAS) (c)
James Pattinson (VIC)
Will Pucovski (VIC)
Steve Smith (NSW)
Mitchell Starc (NSW)
Mitchell Swepson (QLD)
Matthew Wade (TAS)
David Warner (NSW)

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Australia A for India warm-up matches
Sean Abbott (NSW)
Ashton Agar (WA)
Joe Burns (QLD)
Jackson Bird (TAS)
Alex Carey (SA)
Harry Conway (NSW)
Cameron Green (WA)
Marcus Harris (VIC)
Travis Head (SA)
Moises Henriques (NSW)
Nic Maddinson (VIC)
Mitchell Marsh (WA – subject to fitness)
Michael Neser (QLD)
Tim Paine (TAS)
James Pattinson (VIC)
Will Pucovski (VIC)
Mark Steketee (QLD)
Will Sutherland (VIC)
Mitchell Swepson (QLD)