SYDNEY: Australia named an unchanged squad Thursday for the opening day-night Test against Pakistan as they look to build on progress made after a team clear-out following a horror run of five defeats.
The shake-up ahead of the third and final Test against South Africa last month worked with the new-look Australia finally getting a win under their belts, and selectors have stuck by the same 12.
“We were very pleased with how the team came together in Adelaide after some significant changes following the Tests in Perth and Hobart,” said interim chief selector Trevor Hohns.
“This is a young group with a lot of promise and we believe all deserve their opportunity again in this upcoming Test.”
That means English-born Matt Renshaw will again open alongside David Warner with middle-order batsmen Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson also retained.
Experienced opening batsman Shaun Marsh was not considered as he continues to recover from a finger injury that kept him out of the last two Tests.
“Shaun has yet to resume batting and will have a follow-up x-ray this week that will be reviewed by a specialist,” said team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris.
“This will determine when he can resume cricket training.”
Jackson Bird is set to be Australia’s third pace bowler behind Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood with Chadd Sayers carrying the drinks.
The first of three Tests — a day-night affair in Brisbane — starts from December 15. The remaining two Tests will be played in Melbourne (December 26-30) and Sydney (January 3-7).
Pakistan also play five one-day internationals in Australia, having retained the same 16-man squad that recently lost a Test series to New Zealand 2-0.
Australia – Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Jackson Bird, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Matt Renshaw, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade