Cricket Australia (CA) on Tuesday announced a full-strength squad for their first tour of Pakistan in nearly 25 years. The Test side will complete their isolation in Australia before reaching Islamabad on February 27 on a chartered flight. After one-day room isolation, they will hit the training sessions at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, which is set to host the three-match series opener on March 4.
The 18-man squad features three spinners, with Ashton Agar making a comeback in the whites since his last baggy green appearance in September 2017. The other two spinners are Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Swepson.
Opener Marcus Harris, who lost his spot to Usman Khawaja for the Hobart Test in Ashes, has maintained his place in the squad led by Pat Cummins. Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has also returned after recovering from a side injury that ruled him out of the final four Tests against England.
CA have added Mitchell Marsh as an all-rounder to the squad while Josh Inglis is the second wicket-keeper, behind Alex Carey. After the recent controversy regarding Justin Langer’s resignation as head coach, Andrew McDonald has been appointed to serve as the interim head coach.
“This squad covers for all scenarios, including the conditions given it has been such a long time since Australia was last in Pakistan,” said chief selector George Bailey as quoted by Cricket.com.au.
“With several subcontinent tours and a one-day World Cup in India on the near horizon, this is a great first-up challenge for the group after the successful home Ashes series. It’s also a very historic tour given the length of time since an Australian side last toured Pakistan,” he added.
Here is Australia’s Test squad for the Pakistan tour:
Pat Cummins (captain), David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith (vice-captain), Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Mitchell Swepson.