Australian selectors on Wednesday (May 30) announced a star-studded Australia ‘A’ squads for the forthcoming tour of India, with several players already taking part in the limited-overs series against England next month.
While the ace all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will lead Australia ‘A’ in two four-day matches against India ‘A’ in Vizag, Travis Head has been shouldered with the responsibility to captain the one-day side in a tri-series against India ‘A’ and South Africa ‘A’ in Vijayawada. The ODI tri-series and two four-day games are slated to be played in August and September respectively.
Only six players across both squads namely Marnus Labuschagne, Jack Wildermuth, Brendan Doggett, Mitch Swepson, Kurtis Patterson and Michael Neser are yet to represent Australia. Left-handed batsman Usman Khawaja was also included in both squads after he was left out for the tour of England.
“We’re looking for leaders for future Australian teams, and Travis, Mitch and Alex are all very impressive young men,” national selector Trevor Hohns quoted as saying by PTI.
“Travis and Mitch both have captaincy experience at state level, and this is an exciting opportunity for them to lead a new group of players in different conditions.
“Alex, as our Twenty20 vice-captain in the UK and Zimbabwe, is also someone we rate very highly as a leader, and this is another opportunity for him to develop those skills,” he added.
The tour is considered as the crucial preparation for Australia’s two-match Test series against Pakistan in UAE later this year. Australia had suffered a 2-0 whitewash in their last Test tour to UAE back in 2014.
Joe Burns, Glenn Maxwell and Shaun Marsh, who were drafted into the Australian Test squad following the infamous ball-tampering scandal, have been snubbed from the four-day squad. Other notable omissions in the ODI squad include Chris Lynn and Adam Zampa.
“We’re really pleased with the squads we have assembled for this tour. We’ve got a couple of really experienced international cricketers, a large group who have had a taste of playing for Australia already, and some emerging players who have performed strongly and we believe have the potential to one day play for their country,” Hohns said.
“It’s an extremely important tour, as we look for players who can adapt and find ways to excel in sub-continent conditions. With Australia’s series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates fast approaching, it’s a chance for some players to push for selection for that series, and for all players to gain experience in sub-continent conditions,” he concluded.
Australia ‘A’ four-day squad:
Mitchell Marsh (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Matthew Renshaw, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain
Australia ‘A; one-day squad:
Travis Head (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth.
(With PTI inputs)