Australia has found the consistency long craved in Test cricket, with a virtually unchanged squad named for this year’s tour of Sri Lanka.Selectors on yesterday unveiled their 16-man squad for the two-Test series in June and July, with only Marcus Harris and Michael Neser missing from the larger group that toured Pakistan.
It means Scott Boland retains his place as Australia’s back-up seamer, with Jhye Richardson missing out again. Australia tasted Test series success in Asia for the first time in a decade in March and April, beating Pakistan 1-0 a three match contest Australia will play three T20 internationals, five One Day Internationals, and two Test matches in Kandy, Colombo, and Galle throughout June and July. While some players, like Harris and Richardson, will miss out on the Tests, they will instead feature in an Australia A tour of the country comprising two one-day and four-day matches.
Marcus Harris missed out on initial selection but will join an Australia A” squad for the Sri Lanka tour.
That squad also includes the likes of Peter Handscomb, Tanveer Sangha, and up-and-coming opener Henry Hunt. “This is the first time a tour of this scale has been possible since the Ashes in 2019,” chief selector George Bailey said. “It’s incredibly exciting to have an Australia A component which offers the further flexibility and opportunity for players to be available for and cross over into all squads.
“That could be from a Test or white-ball preparation perspective or an opportunity to impress at an international level.”
Meanwhile, Adam Zampa will miss the tour for the birth of his first child while Test captain Pat Cummins will sit out the three-match T20 series.
The majority of Australia’s big names will back up after the Indian Premier League, avoiding a repeat of last year’s disastrous white-ball tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh without them.
Ben McDermott is the most notable absentee, missing out on the five-match one-day squad despite making his case for next year’s World Cup with a century against Pakistan in March.
Pat Cummins (capt), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.
Aaron Finch (capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner, Matthew Wade.
Aaron Finch (capt), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner*. (ABC Sports)*