There is some major surprises as Australia announced its 17 member squad for the upcoming Ashes series.
Apart from the inclusion of uncapped Michael Neser who is major is the surprise in the selection, the squad also includes David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft who have been selected for their first Test tour since the events in Cape Town last year.Australia aims to retain the urn and win in England for the first time since 2001.
Neser, the right-arm seam bowling allrounder, is one of seven fast-bowling options in the squad led by world No.1 Test bowler Pat Cummins, alongside Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle as well as recalled allrounder Mitchell Marsh.
Off the back of a mountain of runs at domestic level and starring performances on the Australia A tour of England, Tasmania’s Matthew Wade and Queensland’s Marnus Labuschagne have earned selection.
Wade edged out Alex Carey as the squad’s reserve wicketkeeper-batter behind captain Tim Paine, while Labuschagne will also serve as the second spinning option, joining Nathan Lyon, with Jon Holland missing out.
Usman Khawaja, who continues to rehabilitate his injured hamstring, has been named and is one of four incumbent batsmen from Australia’s last Test against Sri Lanka in February.
Khawaja returns with opener Marcus Harris, middle-order batsman Travis Head and Labuschagne, while Joe Burns and Kurtis Patterson, who each made centuries in Canberra against Sri Lanka, are unlucky to miss selection.
James Pattinson could also be set to play his first Test for three years at Edgbaston next week.
“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,” said Australia selector Trevor Hohns.
“However, that problem also highlights that we have a degree of depth to select from and that is a terrific positive.
Squad: Paine (c), Bancroft, Cummins, Harris, Hazlewood, Head, Khawaja, Labuschagne, Lyon, Marsh, Neser, Pattinson, Siddle, Smith, Starc, Wade, Warner.