Tuesday, 25 January, 2022
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Australia names 15-man squad for first two Ashes Tests against England

Australia names 15-man squad for first two Ashes Tests against England

Australia have named a 15-man squad for the first two Ashes Tests against England.

Batter Usman Khawaja is recalled having not played Test cricket since August 2019 when Australia retained the Ashes with a 2-2 draw in England.

All-rounder Mitchell Marsh, who made a match-winning innings in the T20 World Cup final, has not been selected.

The first Test is in Brisbane on 8 December, before a day-night match in Adelaide on 16 December.

Khawaja, 34, will take on Travis Head for a spot in the middle order, with Marcus Harris set to open with David Warner.

Khawaja played in the first three Tests of the 2019 Ashes before he was dropped for the final two matches after defeat at Headingley.

Australia have played only three Test series since then, all at home, beating Pakistan and New Zealand before being stunned 2-1 by India in January, when they lost at the Gabba in Brisbane for the first time since 1988.

Fast bowler Jhye Richardson has also been selected alongside two players yet to make their Test debut - leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson and seamer Michael Neser.

Wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade is not included, while opener Will Pucovski also misses out as expected as he recovers from concussion symptoms.

George Bailey, national selection panel chair, said: "After an extended break between Test matches we are looking to build a strong squad mentality across what is an incredibly exciting summer of cricket.

"This group is well balanced to ensure we are prepared for the many challenges of an Ashes series. It has a mix of experienced, proven performers and emerging, developing talent.

"We will take this 15-player squad into the opening Test in Brisbane and the pink ball match in Adelaide, after which we can reassess for the remaining matches."

The third Test is set to start on 26 December in Melbourne, with the fourth in Sydney on 5 January and the final match at Perth on 14 January.

Squad

Tim Paine (c, wk), Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Steve Smith, David Warner.