AUS v SL 2019: Tim Paine confirms two debutants in Australian outfit for the first Test

Jhye Richardson and Kurtis Patterson Kickstart their careers at the Gabba.

Patterson struck two tons in the warm-up game at Hobart | Getty

Jhye Richardson and Kurtis Patterson feature for the very first time, while Joe Burns makes a comeback in Australia's playing XI ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka beginning on Thursday, January 24. 

Richardson replaced injured Josh Hazlewood in the original squad after impressing everyone with his performances during the ODI series versus India, while Patterson struck two outstanding hundreds taking on the visitors in Hobart during the D/N tour warm-up encounter. 

"I like batting (at the Gabba). I think the last pink-ball game here I had some success, and we had a good win. I guess I feel like I've played enough pink-ball cricket now that I can understand where I'm going with that," Patterson was quoted saying by on the eve of the match. 

Richardson, on the other hand, was lavished with praise from chief selector Trevor Hohns himself at the point of his inclusion. 

"Jhye has had an impressive first half in his Sheffield Shield season and no-one could deny he has now continued that form in ODI matches for Australia. We consider Jhye to be an ideal replacement in the squad for Josh," Hohns had said. 

But what surprised everyone was batting sensation Will Pucovski's exclusion despite him leaving skipper Tim Paine highly impressed. 

"Just the way he holds himself is really impressive. He's got a little bit of an aura about him, but in a quiet, softly spoken kind of way," Paine said in the build-up to this Test match, "I think the way he goes about his batting is really simple as well, and it's been clear the last few days in the nets that he's going to be up to this level."

"And it's exciting to have someone of that sort of talent, and for him to be so mature and calm for his age I think it's really exciting for us as a team and as a country to have someone like that come on to the scene. It's been a while."

Australia Test XI: Marcus Harris, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson, Tim Paine (c/wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon. Peter Siddle (12th man). 


By Kashish Chadha - 23 Jan, 2019

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