18-year-old pace bowler Patrick Cummins has been included in Australia's 15-man squad for the two-Test match series in South Africa.
Cummins impressed by taking five wickets in the two Twenty20 Internationals between the two sides and he replaces James Pattinson in the squad.
That is the only change from the group of players that toured Sri Lanka in August and September and the National Selection Panel (NSP) is otherwise reluctant to change a winning group of players, chairman Andrew Hilditch maintaining that Cummins would have been on that tour but for injury, in any case.
"The VB Test squad for South Africa is very similar to the squad that played so well on the recent successful tour of Sri Lanka," he said.
"The squad has a very good balance of experience and exciting young talent. While playing South Africa on their home soil is one of the hardest assignments in world cricket, it will be a very exciting challenge for this new-look Test side after it played excellent cricket to win the Sri Lankan series last month.”
"The only change to the squad is that Patrick Cummins replaces James Pattinson. James is very unlucky to miss selection. He is a very good young fast bowler who has done well in his limited opportunities at international level to date. We’re sure he’ll return to the Bupa Sheffield Shield and place plenty of pressure on those in the Test squad ahead of what is a very demanding domestic summer of Test cricket.
"Patrick Cummins has gained selection ahead of James for this tour. Patrick is a very exciting prospect and at just 18 years of age is already showing the ability to have a significant impact at international level. Patrick would have most likely been on the tour of Sri Lanka if not for injury at the end of last season. Now he’s back fit and bowling well, we saw this as the right time to bring him into the Test squad for this important series.
"We have again picked a squad of 15. We face back-to-back Tests in South Africa ahead of another six Tests in Australia, so managing our fast bowlers through this tough schedule will be extremely important. The Tests will be played at the start of the South African summer in Cape Town and Johannesburg and we think the conditions will be quite different at both venues. This squad gives us the flexibility to adapt to all conditions and we think gives us the right balance to maximise our chances of winning the series.
"As the Australian domestic summer is in full swing and there are several Bupa Sheffield Shield matches on during this tour, the NSP has decided that rather than travelling with the squad on 27 October, Michael Beer will remain in Australia until after the tour game in South Africa. He will then join the squad in time to be available for selection in the first Test in Cape Town. This will give Michael the opportunity to play two Bupa Sheffield Shield matches for Western Australia before joining the squad and will ensure he and Nathan Lyon will have plenty of bowling ahead of the start of the Test series.
"Ryan Harris will also not travel with the squad which will allow him to play in Queensland’s match against Tasmania at the Gabba from 25-28 October.
"It’s also likely that after the start of the second Test in South Africa, players from the squad who miss selection may return to Australia so they can play for their states or Australia A and be match ready for the start of the Vodafone Test Series against New Zealand in Australia."
Australia Test squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson (vice-captain), Michael Beer, Trent Copeland, Patrick Cummins, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Phil Hughes, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle
|13 Oct 2011||1st Twenty20||Sahara Park Newlands, Cape Town||AUS won by 5 wickets|
|16 Oct 2011||2nd Twenty20||New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg||RSA won by 3 wickets|
|19 Oct 2011||1st ODI||South Africa v Australia||Centurion Park|
|23 Oct 2011||2nd ODI||South Africa v Australia||Sahara Oval, St George's Park, Port Elizabeth|
|28 Oct 2011||3rd ODI||South Africa v Australia||Sahara Stadium, Kingsmead, Durban|
|1st Nov 2011||Tour game||South Africa A v Australia||Potchefstroom|
|09 Nov 2011||1st Test||South Africa v Australia||Sahara Park Newlands, Cape Town|
|17 Nov 2011||2nd Test||South Africa v Australia||New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg|
© Cricket World 2011