By SAT Sports Desk
Melbourne, 24 May: Cricket Australia has announced a 15-man Test squad ahead of the Qantas Tour of Sri Lanka due to take place from July this year. New South Wales all-rounder Moises Henriques will return to the squad for the first time since 2013. Henriques, 29, played his only three Tests to date for Australia on the 2013 tour of India.
Moises was named earlier this month in the Australia ‘A’ squad for the Quadrangular Series this winter in Queensland in August and September, but will now move to national duties.
Australia will embark on its first Test tour since ascending to the No.1 ranking earlier this year in the wake of its 2-0 series win over New Zealand in New Zealand.
Victorian paceman James Pattinson is unavailable for this tour due to a recurrence of stress fractures in his back.
Cricket Australia Physiotherapist David Beakley said: “James experienced lower back pain during the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch and was given some time to rest. Unfortunately his back pain continued during this time and after further investigation it confirmed that he has had a recurrence of a back stress fracture.
James will continue to spend the winter recovering from this injury, at which point we hope to have a clearer view of timelines for his return to play.”
Also missing from the squad is Peter Siddle (back) and Chadd Sayers, with Henriques, left-arm spinner Stephen O’Keefe and WA quick Nathan Coulter-Nile coming into the expanded 15-man squad.
O’Keefe, 31, returns to the squad after playing in the Commonwealth Bank Series against the West Indies in Sydney at the start of the year.
Qantas Tour of Sri Lanka Test Squad
Steve Smith (c) (NSW)
David Warner (v-c) (NSW)
Jackson Bird (TAS)
Joe Burns (QLD)
Nathan Coulter-Nile (WA)
Josh Hazlewood (NSW)
Moises Henriques (NSW)
Usman Khawaja (QLD)
Nathan Lyon (NSW)
Mitchell Marsh (WA)
Shaun Marsh (WA)
Peter Nevill (NSW)
Stephen O’Keefe (NSW)
Mitchell Starc (NSW)
Adam Voges (WA)
Coach: Darren Lehmann
Commenting on the Test squad National Selector Rod Marsh said: “This squad has proven experience in sub-continental conditions.
“Henriques comes into the squad to give the flexibility of an additional all-rounder option, having already shown he plays and adapts well to spin-friendly conditions. He has been working hard with his fitness and we believe he is in prime condition to serve us well should he be selected to play.
“Jackson Bird and Nathan Coulter-Nile join the squad and will give us good control and pace. Jackson had an impressive Sheffield Shield season and showed skill with reverse swing in the last Test match in New Zealand earlier this year. He’s playing in England at the moment and we’re confident this will build his skills to assist the squad if he is selected in Sri Lanka.
“Stephen O’Keefe will complement Nathan Lyon and plays an important role in the subcontinent if he’s selected in the final XI. We know his ability, he takes wickets continually in first class cricket and he impresses when we select him to play Test cricket.”
The Australia ODI and T20I squads will be announced in due course.
Australia will play three Tests, five one-day internationals and two T20 internationals against Sri Lanka. To view the full schedule for the Qantas Tour of Sri Lanka click www.cricket.com.au.
- SAT News Service.