Australia announce squad for Test series against Bangladesh
Despite a match-winning performance in Pune against India, Steve O’Keefe has been dropped from Australia’s 13-man squad for the two-match Test series against Bangladesh in August. Star seamer, Mitchell Starc, who was ruled out of the latter half of the Test series against India but featured in Australia’s Champions Trophy side has been rested with the Ashes campaign in mind.
The left-arm pacer’s foot hasn’t healed completely and has been ordered rest, which meant James Pattinson is in the Test squad for the first time since February 2016. Physiotherapist David Beakely told cricket.com.au: "Mitchell was due to go for follow up scans after the Champions Trophy, as part of his recovery plan. These scans have indicated his previous stress fracture has still not fully healed to the extent we would like. He will now undertake a period of rest from bowling with the aim to have him return for the one-day series in India in late September as he begins his build-up to the Ashes.”
The 13-man squad is likely to have another fast bowler to replace Starc, which will be announced after Australia A's tour of South Africa next month, with Chadd Sayers, Chris Tremain, Jason Behrendorff and Jackson Bird vying for a spot in the Australian squad to face Bangladesh.
Shaun Marsh has also been dropped from the squad but Usman Khawaja who played no part in the series against India retains his place in a squad that features three all-rounders including Hilton Cartwright, Glenn Maxwell and left-arm spinner Ashton Agar.
In the absence of O’Keefe, Australia only have one front-line spinner in the squad to face Bangladesh as Nathan Lyon is likely to have support from all-rounders Maxwell and Agar in the spin department.
On the selection of Cartwright, national selector Trevor Hohns said: “Hilton averages nearly 60 runs in first-class cricket and was the second highest run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield last season with 861 runs. He is a quality player who we believe has a big future for Australia and we are very keen to see him carry on his good form into subcontinent."
Australia will play a tour match in Fatullah before the first Test against Bangladesh starts on August 27 at Dhaka. The second Test will be at Chittagong from September 4.
Australia’s Squad: Steve Smith (C), David Warner (VC), Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Matthew Renshaw, Matthew WadePublished 16 Jun 2017, 11:16 IST