Mitchell Marsh, Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, and Peter Handscomb have been discarded from the Australian squad for the Test series opposite to Sri Lanka, commencing from January 24.
The exclusion of all these players done after Australia’s first-ever home Test series loss to India.
“Ultimately Shaun, Aaron, Mitch, and Peter have not given the performances expected of them with the bat at the series.
They have been offered a good opportunity, however, have failed to offer that needed,” Cricket Australia said national selection panel chair Trevor Hohns, as saying on Wednesday.
“All four are remarkably good players, and the door is not closed for them forever, they will return to play Test cricket for Australia.
They will all play in the ODI series against India, and each of them makes an intrinsic part of our white-ball method and set-up at the time as we further focus on our journey to the 2019 Cricket World Cup,” Hohns added.
Australia has, however, decided for the same pace attack of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc with Peter Siddle drafted as the back-up.
In a lovely surprise, the selectors have claimed up popular Victorian batsman Will Pucovski and recalled Queensland pair Joe Burns and Matt Renshaw in the 13-man squad.
Last October, Pucovski had broken a remarkable 243 against Western Australia in the JLT Sheffield Shield.
His average remains at 49.00, which is the highest of any Australian in first-class cricket. The left-hander Renshaw has had a lean run this summer, scoring 199 at 19.90 with one fifty to his name. At the same time, Burns sits at the fifth position on the season’s Shield run-scorers list with 472 at 47.20 with four fifties.
All three batsmen along with Marnus Labuschagne are chosen to play the pink-ball warm-up match against Sri Lanka that is going to commence from January 17 to qualify themselves for a possible Test call-up.
“Joe Burns has had strong performances in first-class cricket this season, and we believe he can contribute strongly if given the chance in the series. Will Pucovski is an exciting young player who is making his mark in the Sheffield Shield. He is another player with a track record of making centuries,” Hohns said.
“Matt Renshaw is a player with the ability to make big scores, and at 22 years old has 10 first-class centuries. He also performed extremely well in England during the County season. We see him as a long-term prospect as a Test player and have confidence in his ability to bounce back following a string of low scores early in the Shield season,” he added.
Following is the group for the first Test against Sri Lanka:
Travis Head, Tim Paine (c/wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Usman Khawaja, Joe Burns, Marcus Harris, Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Nathan Lyon, Matt Renshaw, Peter Siddle, and Mitchell Starc.
Australia will play their first Test against Sri Lanka that is going to begin from January 24 to 28, followed by the second which will be played from February 1 to 5.