Australia announce 12-man squad for New Zealand series
The national selectors of Cricket Australia (CA) has named a 12-man squad for the upcoming first two Test matches against New Zealand which begins in November.
David Warner will make a return to the national squad after recovering from a thumb injury which he sustained in the second One-Day International against England at Lord's.
Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja, who scored splendid centuries for Cricket Australia XI against New Zealand in the tour game in Canberra have also been rewarded with a place in the Test team.
Steven Smith will lead the side with the experienced Adam Voges in the middle order along with the only all-rounder in the squad - Mitchell Marsh.
Peter Nevill, who was impressive behind the stumps in the Ashes series will don the gloves while Nathan Lyon will be the lone spinner in the squad.
Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc will be the spearheads of the bowling attack which also features Peter Siddle and Josh Hazlewood.
The national Selector of CA, Rod Marsh, expressed confidence in the squad's ability to give a tough fight to New Zealand.
“We will need to play at our best to beat a very talented New Zealand side, but we think this squad has the goods to do it and also provides an opportunity for some exciting younger players to make their mark in the Test arena,” Marsh said.
Marsh also believes that the duo of Khawaja and Burns deserve the chance at the national level after consistent performances in domestic cricket.
“Usman is a very good player of fast-bowling and is a fine technician; we feel he will make a really solid contribution towards our batting this series.
“Joe thoroughly deserves his chance and was unlucky to miss out on the West Indies and Ashes tours off the back of two decent performances in his last Test match for Australia in Sydney.
“He also put in terrific performances during the recent Australia A Series in India .”
Terming Adam Voges has a "calm player", Marsh reckons the 36-year-old adds a lot of value especially with his leadership traits.
“Adam is a calm player with a cool head and brings a lot of experience to the side.
"He has a solid Test and first-class average and will provide good support to our two young leaders in Steve Smith and David Warner."
The first two Tests between Australia and New Zealand will be played in Brisbane and Perth on 5th and 13th November respectively, while the third Test which is also a day-night encounter will be played in Adelaide on 27th November.
Australia squad for the first two Tests against New Zealand:
Steven Smith (captain), David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood
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