Australia have announced the 13-man squad for the first 2 Tests of the upcoming Ashes series. Ending all the speculations about the wicketkeeper’s slot, the 32-year-old Tim Paine has been recalled to the side leaving behind Matthew Wade and Peter Nevil.
The major talking point of the selection was the wicketkeeper in the side and there was supposedly a competition between Wade and Nevil but surprisingly, Paine managed to pip both. He last played a Test for Australia in the year 2010 but his decent outings in the warm-up games against England convinced the selectors to go for him.
National Selector Trevor Hohns said, “Tim was identified as an international player a long time ago and has always been renowned as a very good gloveman, also performing well for us whenever he has represented Australia in any format. His batting form in recent outings for the Cricket Australia XI and Tasmania has been good.”
The squad also includes 2 uncapped players Cameron Bancroft and Chadd Sayers. Matt Renshaw, Hilton Cartwright, Ashton Agar and Glenn Maxwell, who were in the side for the Bangladesh tour, have been dropped. The left-handed batsman Shaun Marsh has made a return to the team while Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja and Jackson have managed to retain their places.
The Ashes series will start with the first Test to be played at the Gabba, Brisbane. The following 4 Tests will be played in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney respectively.
Australia’s Squad for first 2 Ashes Tests
Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird and Chadd Sayers
Schedule for Ashes
Nov 23-Nov 27, First Test in Brisbane
Dec 2-Dec 6, Second Test in Adelaide
Dec 14-Dec 18, Third Test in Perth
Dec 26-Dec 30, Fourth Test in Melbourne
Jan 4-Jan 8, Fifth Test in Sydney