Mike Hussey selects his Australia squad for upcoming South Africa tour
What's the story?
Former Australia batsman Mike Hussey has selected his own 15-man squad for Australia's upcoming tour of South Africa, which includes four Tests, the first tour between the sides to include more than three Tests. Interestingly, Hussey opted to include an out-of-form Cameron Bancroft in the squad. "I’m going to back Cameron Bancroft in," Hussey said. I’m going to stick with the guy who’s in there for this series [the ongoing Ashes]."
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Newcomer Bancroft has been under fire for not delivering according to expectations. He made his debut in the first Ashes Test at Brisbane, but has reached fifty only once in seven innings, averaging 25.57 with a highest of 82*. Bancroft was preferred instead of Matt Renshaw for the series and has played all five Tests.
The heart of the matter
Another intriguing choice made by Hussey was that of all-rounder Marcus Stoinis instead of Glenn Maxwell. Though Stoinis played only three Sheffield Shield matches this season due to the passing away of his father, his form in limited-overs cricket has prompted Hussey to choose him.
"He’s a good batsman, he’s played some excellent innings in one-day cricket for Australia and that might be a nice stepping stone for him to come up in the Test arena," Hussey told cricket.com.au. The southpaw, however, was open to including pacer Jhye Richardson in place of left-arm spinner Ashton Agar if the need should arise.
The first Test between South Africa and Australia begins on March 1 in Durban. Before that, South Africa will be completing one full series of three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is against India.
Hussey's squad for South Africa tour in March 2018:
Steven Smith (c), David Warner, Ashton Agar/Jhye Richardson, Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc and Marcus Stoinis