Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb and Marsh brothers (Shaun and Mitchell) have been dumped from the Australian squad for the two test match series. All these four players were part of the recently concluded four-match Test series against India that Australia lost 1-2.
Instead, Australia have offered a maiden call-up to the promising Victorian batsman Will Pucovski for the forthcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, while Joe Burns and Matt Renshaw too have been included in the 13-man squad announced on Wednesday.
Pucovski first came into the radar when he made a remarkable 243 against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield last October and was in the contention for India series, but opted to take an “indefinite break” from cricket for treatment on a mental health-related illness. The 20-year-old has suffered several concussions in his young career and that is what has slowed down his progress.
Meanwhile, Renshaw played last of his 11 Tests in March-April 2018 when he had to fly to South Africa for the final Test after ball-tampering scandal broke out in Cape Town. The left-hander has only managed 199 runs at 19.9 in Sheffield Shield so far but had a superb County season with Somerset last year. However, his Queensland teammate Burns does have good numbers this season. The 29-year-old has chalked up 472 runs at 47.2 so far in the season.
Sri Lanka will first play a three-day practice match against Cricket Australia XI before the series gets underway in Brisbane from January 24.
Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (capt/wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovksi, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle.