Cricket Australia on Thursday announced an extended 17-man squad, keeping in mind the bio-bubble hubs in the wake of the pandemic, for the 4-Test series against Virat Kohli-led India, starting December 17.
As many as 5 uncapped players, including in-form Victoria opener Will Pucovski who has set the stage on fire in the opening rounds of Sheffield Shield, have been included in the squad. Tim Paine will lead Australia in the 4-Test series while India skipper Virat Kohli will return to India after the first Test in Adelaide due to paternity leave.
Pat Cummins has been named as the vice-captain of the Test team as he will lead a fiery pace attack in Australia.
Australia squad for India Tests: Tim Paine (captain), James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser.
Steve Smith, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Wade and captain Paine are part of the formidable batting group which will be bolstered by the additions of Will Pucovski and Cameron Green.
Pucovski has set the stage on fire in the opening rounds of Sheffield Shield, scoring 495 runs, including 2 double hundreds in just 2 matches for Victoria. Cameron Green has been in good all-round form for Western Australia.
It will be a toss-up between Pucovski and Joe Burns for the sport of the second opener who will partner with David Warner at the top for Australia. Also, uncapped pacers Sean Abbott and Michael Neser have been added to the squad to compliment the quartret of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson.
“What we saw in the opening rounds of the Marsh Sheffield Shield were a number of players performing exceptionally well. It is such a positive sign for Australian cricket to have so many good young players stepping into contention for the Test and Australia A selection,” Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement.
“Two of those many standout players were of course Cameron Green and Will Pucovski. Their undeniable form demanded selection and we are very pleased to have these young men in the squad for what will be a tremendous Test Series against an extremely formidable opponent.”