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Australia include Bancroft, Fekete for Bangladesh Tests

Australia include Bancroft, Fekete for Bangladesh Tests
Usman Khawaja makes a comeback to the Australian Test squad.
©REUTERS / Action Images

The Australian selectors on Monday announced a 15-man squad for the tour of Bangladesh which included the uncapped duo of Cameron Bancroft and Andrew Fekete.

Receiving a Test recall are batsmen Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns, left-arm orthodox spinner Stephen O’Keefe and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.

With David Warner out of contention for the tour of Bangladesh, Adam Voges will reprise the role of the vice-captain.

While Shaun Marsh and Bancroft are expected to open the batting, Khawaja, Burns, Steven Smith and Adam Voges will form the core of the middle order.

Mitchell Marsh and Maxwell take up the all-rounder spots, while Peter Nevill, who had a decent outing in the recently concluded Ashes series in England will don the gloves behind the stumps.

Keeping the spin friendly conditions in mind, the selectors have included both O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon in the squad while Maxwell is also expected to share the spin-bowling duties.

The pace-bowling attack will be led by Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle alongside Fekete and Patrick Cummins, while Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Johnson have been rested for the tour.

Chief Selector Rod Marsh hopes that the young squad can seize the opportunities presented to them to establish their places in the Test side.

“The retirements of five players from the squad that went on the Ashes tour, as well as issues of injury, form and conditions have brought about a major change in the profile of the touring party from the one that toured the British Isles.

“But with that change comes a fantastic opportunity for all the players going to Bangladesh.

“They are going as a young group with seven of the players aged 26 or less, and all 15 have the opportunity to kick on and, in the case of Cameron Bancroft and Andrew Fekete, kick off their Test careers and establish themselves as the core of the side for years to come.

“It is an exciting time to be involved in Australian cricket, with a new captain in Steve Smith and a crop of hugely talented players alongside him with the chance to forge a bright future for our national side.”

Marsh also iterated that O’Keefe was selected over leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, based on his impressive performances in the Australia A tour of India.

“Stephen (O’Keefe) did well on the A tour. We felt he bowled exceptionally well.

“It’s true that Fawad didn’t get many opportunities in either the West Indies or on the Ashes tour but when he did get them he didn’t bowl as well as I’m sure he would have wanted.

“He will go back to Victoria and hopefully start taking wickets to give us the right type of problem to have as a National Selection Panel.

“With Stephen O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon and Glenn Maxwell we believe we have the right number and the right type of spinners for the conditions we expect to encounter.”

The two-match series gets underway with the first Test scheduled in Chittagong on 9th October, while the second Test will be played in Dhaka from 17th October.

Australian squad for Bangladesh Test series:

Steve Smith (captain), Adam Voges (vice-captain), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Patrick Cummins, Andrew Fekete, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Nevill (wk), Stephen O’Keefe, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc 

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