Australia have named their 15-member squad for the first two Test matches of their impending five-match Ashes series against arch-rivals England. 30-year-old Aussie wicketkeeper Alex Carey is all set to make his Test debut in the series opener at the Gabba in Brisbane.
As per a report published on the ICC's official website, George Bailey, Australia's chairman of selectors, noted how the left-hander has been a regular feature in the country's white-ball set-up in recent years. He is hopeful that Carey's inclusion in the Test team will prove to be beneficial for Australia.
"Alex has been a regular member of the national side in white-ball cricket, particularly in the one-day game. He is an excellent cricketer and a fine individual who will bring many great strengths into the team. He will be a very deserved holder of baggy green cap number 461.”
The Australian team were in search of a wicketkeeper for the crucial series, with former skipper Tim Paine taking an indefinite break from the sport following his sexting scandal.
Josh Inglis was also one of the frontrunners for the position. However, Carey ultimately piped him to seal the vacant wicketkeeper's spot in the Australian Test side for the first two Ashes games.
"I am incredibly humbled by this opportunity" - Alex Carey
Alex Carey, in an official statement, expressed his delight at being added to the Australian Test squad for the first two fixtures of the Ashes series.
The wicketkeeper-batter pointed out that his focus remains on being prepared for the all-important assignment as he looks to make a mark in red-ball cricket.
“I am incredibly humbled by this opportunity. It’s an exciting build-up to what is a huge series ahead. My focus is on preparing and playing my part in helping Australia secure the Ashes,”
Star pacer Pat Cummins has been handed the responsibility of leading the Australian Test team after Tim Paine relinquished his position. Former skipper Steve Smith will serve as Cummins' deputy in the Ashes.
The Test series is scheduled to commence on December 8, with the Gabba hosting the opening fixture between the two cricketing giants.
Here's Australia's squad for the first two matches:
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.