On Wednesday, Cricket Australia (CA) announced the 19-man squad for the three-match Test series in South Africa starting next month. Uncapped South Australia keeper Alex Carey has been named in the outfit, while Matthew Wade has been dropped from the whites.
Wade faced a lot of heat for his average performance in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar series against India. He played all games of the four-match series that India won 2-1. The left-handed batsman finished with 173 runs from eight innings at a disastrous average of 21.62.
Apart from Carey, the other uncapped players who have been picked for South Africa Tests are Sean Abbott, Michael Neser, Mitchell Swepson and Mark Steketee.
“When presented with the challenging task of selecting two concurrent Australian men’s squads for overseas tours, we picked our first-choice Test squad given the importance of the proposed series against South Africa,” head selector Trevor Hohns was quoted as saying in cricket.com.au.
“The squad is quite similar to that selected for the final two Tests of the recently-completed Border-Gavaskar series, except for Matt Wade, and the addition of Alex Carey, who has been in strong form with both bat and gloves,” he added.
The selectors have also shown confidence in the leadership of Tim Paine, who faced a lot of criticism for his on-field behaviour after Australia lost the series against India.
“Tim Paine has been an outstanding captain since taking over the Australian men’s Test team in incredibly difficult circumstances.”
“Tim has the support of the team, the coach and everyone else at Cricket Australia and the result of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series has done nothing to diminish that,” said CA’s Executive General Manager, Ben Oliver.
The schedule for Australia versus South African Test series hasn’t yet finalised.
Australia’s Test squad:
Tim Paine (c), Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Sean Abbott, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner, Will Pucovski, Mark Steketee.