Australia have announced their 17-man squad on Friday for the five-match Test Ashes series against England, starting on August 1 at Edgbaston.
Former captain Steve Smith and David Warner have been included in the squad following their impressive run in the recently concluded World Cup. Also, Cameron Bancroft, who was banned along with Smith and Warner in the ball-tampering scandal, makes his comeback into the team.
“They’re welcomed back with open arms, there’s no doubt about it,” the selection chairman Trevor Hohns said in Southampton. “Steve Smith and Dave Warner, they’re very good cricketers, world-class players. It was naturally we would include them now they’re available again. And Cameron Bancroft has had quite a good summer here playing county cricket plus he played very well here in the recent game.
“[We were] always thinking about him [Bancroft] but needed to get our eyes on him because it’s fair to say no one had seen much of him since his return. He played some Shield cricket towards the end of last season back home but more importantly, we wanted to see how he was going in particular over here.
“But I don’t know if you saw the way he played in this game out here just now, in very trying conditions. He’s the type of player we think we need in our Australian side, he’s tough, he’s enthusiastic, his work ethic is fantastic. And he’s infectious. We need people like that, people who want to continue to improve their game, and who are hard-nosed and tough. He fits the ball. Yes, [this warm-up was key to his recall].”
Joe Burns and Kurtis Patterson, who scored centuries against Sri Lanka in February have missed out for the inclusions of Warner and Smith.
Australia’s squad for the Ashes:
Tim Paine (c & wk), David Warner, Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wk).