Australia announced their 13-member squad for the Test against New Zealand. They have named the same squad which thrashed Pakistan recently apart from one change. Cameron Bancroft has been dropped from the squad which retained the Ashes in England before a 2-0 series win against Pakistan. New Zealand are considered as the tough opposition who are coming this month for three Tests — in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney respectively.
“As we said prior to the Pakistan series we are striving to maintain a core group of players,” said national selector Trevor Hohns. “The performance of the team against Pakistan was very impressive across all areas.”
Cameron Bancroft was on standby but did not play against Pakistan. His exclusion could see the same batting line-up where David Warner will open the innings who had scored a stunning 335 not out in Adelaide, ably supported by Marnus Labuschagne who hit a second successive century and helped Australia to win the game in Adelaide.
“David Warner has been in exceptional form with the bat. The support he received from Joe Burns in Brisbane and Marnus Labuschagne in Adelaide was exactly what we had been asking for from the top order,” said Hohns. “They delivered, setting up both matches in what was an outstanding all-round performance. We are backing the current batting line-up to continue their form across the next three Tests.”
A beautiful six-wicket haul from Mitchell Starc in Adelaide made sure his place in the squad and he is expected to start in Perth alongside Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon with Hohns saying the players – Michael Neser and James Pattinson “will continue as cover” as well.
Australia: Tim Paine (Captain), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner